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Marco Rendeli

[Etrus. Velc ; Gr. Olkion; Lat. Volcii]

Site of Etruscan city near Montalto di Castro, Italy. It occupies a tufa plateau overlooking the lower reaches of the River Fiora c. 120 km north-west of Rome and c. 15 km inland from its ancient port, Regisvilla, on the Tyrrhenian coast. Vulci was a member of the Etruscan 12-city league but is seldom mentioned in ancient sources, and most evidence relating to its pre-Roman history consists of finds from its surrounding necropoleis. Already a substantial settlement by the Late Bronze Age, Vulci flourished during the 9th and 8th centuries bc as a metalworking centre, and the earliest imports of Near Eastern and Sardinian artefacts date from this time. From around 630 bc Vulci experienced remarkable prosperity and productivity. There were copious imports of Greek and Near Eastern artefacts which, together with the arrival of immigrant craftsmen, stimulated the establishment of local fine pottery workshops. In the 6th century bc...


J. V. S. Megaw and M. Ruth Megaw

Iron Age site on the edge of the Hunsrück-Eifel in the Mainz–Bingen district, Germany. Found by chance in 1869 ( see also Prehistoric Europe §VI 2., (iii) ), the burial mound was originally thought to be a double burial. In fact this mound, the latest by at least a generation of the rich chieftains’ graves of the Rhineland, contained the burial of a woman. Among the artefacts in the grave was a spouted, swollen-bellied bronze flagon, perhaps an heirloom. The flagon has a bearded head on the handle attachment, a horse on the lid and four bands of finely punched compass-based plant decoration in the Early style of Celtic art around the body. There was also an Italic bell situla (wine bucket), probably of Tarentine origin, dated to c. 380–370 or, more likely, c. 340–320 bc. The grave also contained a gold neck-ring, three gold arm-rings, bronze and lignite ornaments and a large number of horse trappings and chariot fittings. Most of these are decorated in the ...



Susan Bergh


Pre-Columbian civilization that, between 600 and 1000 CE, created one of the ancient Andes’ major art styles, drawing inspiration from contemporary and earlier traditions, such as the Nasca.

During the Middle Horizon period (600–1000 CE), the Wari people forged the most politically complex and geographically expansive civilization to have existed in the central Andean region since settled life emerged there in about 5000 BCE. Only the later Inka Empire (1400–1532 CE) had greater influence and territorial extent. The eponymous Wari capital city was in Ayacucho in the south-central highlands of Peru; underexplored due to the vagaries of history, the enormous urban center covers more than 6 sq. km (2.3 sq. miles). Smaller but still impressive are the often better-documented provincial centers the Wari built in far-flung areas of the highlands, western foothills, and eastern slope, including Pikillacta; Cerro Baúl; Jincamocco; Viracochapampa, which was never finished or occupied; and Espíritu Pampa (respectively, ...


(b Glasgow, Sept 10, 1890; d London, July 22, 1976).

English archaeologist . Educated at Bradford Grammar School and University College, London, he was made Director of the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, in 1924, before moving to London as Keeper and Secretary of the London Museum (now the Museum of London) in 1926, where he also established the post-graduate Institute of Archaeology (1937) within the University of London. After active military service during World War II he reorganized archaeology in India as Director General of Archaeology (1944–8). On his return to London he began to reform and reshape the British Academy as Honorary Secretary. Meanwhile, he was a tireless excavator of some of the most notable sites in Britain, including the Roman temple complex at Lydney Park, Glos (1928–9; pubd 1933), the Roman city of Verulamium (now St Albans; 1930–33; pubd 1936), Maiden Castle (1934–6; pubd 1943) and Stanwick (pubd 1951–2...


(b Devonshire, Aug 22, 1873; d Toronto, Jan 24, 1960).

Canadian priest, archaeologist and museum curator of British birth. He went to Canada with his parents as a child and was educated at Wycliffe College, Toronto. After his ordination into the Anglican Church, he went to China in 1897 as a missionary and in 1909 was consecrated as the first bishop of Henan Province. During his time in Henan he also pursued research into Chinese art and archaeology, including a study of the tombs at Jincun (5th–2nd centuries bc), near Luoyang. He returned to Toronto in 1934 to become Keeper of the East Asiatic Collection, Assistant Director of the Royal Ontario Museum and Professor of Chinese Archaeology at the University of Toronto. From 1941 to 1948 he was also Director of the School of Chinese Studies there; he retired from all of these posts in 1948. In the field of Chinese art and archaeology his writings embraced a broad range of subjects from ancient tomb-tile pictures, bronzes and temple frescoes to ink-bamboo drawings by the 18th-century artist Chen Lin. About 3000 fragments of oracle bones that he collected in China entered the ...


Lawrence E. Butler

(b Cambridge, MA, Jan 2, 1871; d Washington, DC, June 8, 1950).

American archaeologist and Byzantinist . Whittemore studied English literature at Tufts College, graduating in 1894, and then took graduate classes at Harvard. He taught English at Tufts from his graduation in 1894 until 1911, and from 1902 to 1903 included topics in ancient and medieval art; he taught both English and fine arts at Columbia University summer school in 1908. In 1911 he went to Egypt, excavating with the Egypt Exploration Society at Sawama near Akhmim in 1913–14 and at Abydos in 1914, beginning a life-long career in field archaeology. From 1920 he worked on sites in Bulgaria including Belovo, Mesembria, and Perustica, collaborating with Nikodim Kondakov’s circle of Russian associates.

He is remembered today mostly for his achievements as a Byzantinist, in particular the founding of the Byzantine Institute of America. As a member of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s circle in Boston at the turn of the century, he met scholars from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts such as Okakura Kakuzo and Matthew Stewart Prichard, who may have guided him into exploring non-Western and, particularly in the case of Prichard, Byzantine art, just then becoming fashionable with the support of modernists such as Roger Fry. In a ...


Sheila R. Canby

( Kyrle )

(b London, Oct 13, 1897; d Sharon, CT, April 18, 1986).

American archaeologist, curator and collector . Trained as an artist at the Slade School, University College, London, in 1920 he joined the graphic section of the Egyptian Expedition to Thebes, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. During the 1920s and 1930s Wilkinson painted facsimiles of Egyptian tomb paintings in the museum collection, and he joined museum excavations in the Kharga Oasis (Egypt) and Qasr-i Abu Nasr and Nishapur (Iran). Transferred to the curatorial staff of the museum in 1947, he became curator in 1956 of the new Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, which merged with the Department of Islamic Art in 1957. Through his energetic collaboration on major excavations at Hasanlu, Nimrud and Nippur, Wilkinson greatly expanded the Ancient Near Eastern collections at the Metropolitan Museum. After his retirement from the museum in 1963, he taught Islamic art at Columbia University and was Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Middle Eastern Art and Archaeology at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (...


Joachim Hahn

Group of eight sites in Wachau, Austria. These sites have yielded important remains of Upper Palaeolithic date (c. 40,000–c. 10,000 bp), including a famous figurine of a woman known as the Willendorf Venus ( see Prehistoric Europe, §II, 3, (i) ). The sites have been known since the mid-19th century, when collectors started to search them for bones and archaeological objects, but it was the construction of a railway between Mauthausen and Krems that prompted the official excavations, which started in 1908 under Josef Bayer and Hugo Obermaier and continued until 1955, when Fritz Felgenhauer was director. The material recovered from the excavations is held by the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna. The best-explored area, Site II, had the longest stratigraphic sequence. The lower levels (1–4) were Aurignacian (c. 40,000–c. 25,000 bp), while the upper levels (5–9) belonged to the Gravettian culture (c. 30,000–c....


David Cast

(b London, Feb 27, 1800; d Cambridge, Feb 28, 1875).

English writer, teacher and archaeologist . After receiving his degree in mathematics at Cambridge in 1826 he was ordained priest the following year. In 1829 he was awarded a fellowship for the study of mechanics, and in 1837 he was elected Jacksonian Professor of applied mechanics at Cambridge, a position he held with distinction until his death, publishing a major book in 1841. Willis was also interested in the practical world, and in 1851 he was a juror for the Great Exhibition, at the Crystal Palace, London, reporting on manufacturing tools and lecturing on this subject, the following year, to the Royal Society of Arts.

Throughout this period Willis also studied architecture and archaeology. In 1835, after a tour of Gothic buildings in France, Germany and Italy, he published a study that was a considerable advance in its rigour and clarity on the work of earlier scholars such as Thomas Rickman...


Gregor M. Lechner

(b Eiglau, Silesia, Aug 21, 1857; d Rome, Feb 13, 1944).

German archaeologist and priest. He studied philosophy and theology at the Jesuit academy in Innsbruck, where he was ordained in 1883. Through the mediation of Cardinal Friedrich Egon von Fürstenberg (1853–92) of Olmütz he made a study trip to Rome in 1884 and became curate at the seminary at the Campo Santo. There he began the independent research into Early Christian art that was to be his life’s work. In 1892 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the theological faculty of Münster University, Westphalia; he was appointed Protonotary Apostolic in 1903 and Dean of Münster University in 1924. From 1926 he taught at the Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana and published frequently in the Römische Quartalschrift edited by A. de Waal. His many other writings include several standard works on Early Christian wall paintings and mosaics in Rome and on Early Christian sarcophagi. Of a more autobiographical nature was his ...


T. C. Mitchell

(b Upper Clapton, Apr 17, 1880; d London, Feb 20, 1960).

English archaeologist . He was educated at New College, Oxford, where he took a First in Literae Humaniores (1903) and a Second in Theology (1904), and he became an assistant in the Ashmolean Museum under Arthur Evans in 1905. In 1907 he joined D. Randall McIver in excavating at Karanog and Buhen in Nubia. After a brief period excavating in Italy, he was chosen in 1912 to succeed Reginald Campbell Thompson as Director of the British Museum excavations at Carchemish in north Syria, working there until 1914 and also in 1920.

In 1920–21 Woolley directed the excavations at Amarna, (Tell) el- on behalf of the Egypt Exploration Society, but his most significant work began in 1922, when he was invited by the British Museum and the Museum of the University of Philadelphia to direct excavations at Ur in southern Iraq. During his 12 seasons there, and at the small neighbouring temple site of ...



Bent Nielsen

[ Wu-chin ]

County in the southern part of Jiangsu Province, China, where in 1957 a group of 13 bronze vessels was excavated at Yancheng. They were recovered from a moat of the ancient capital of the state of Yue, which occupied the area of modern Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces in the Spring and Autumn period (722–481 bc) of the Zhou dynasty. The presence of iron tools among the bronzes indicates a date after the 6th century bc.

The vessels (Beijing, Hist. Mus.) are remarkably well preserved and virtually uncorroded, but some are executed in a rather unrefined and careless manner, for example with seams left unpolished. The decorative designs and, occasionally, the shapes of the vessels are typical of southern provincial bronze-casting. The decoration is clearly influenced by the techniques of stamping and impressing frequently employed on pottery vessels. Irregular matting designs characteristic of these bronzes were obtained by using pattern blocks made from a master mould. Typically, the vessels have a broad band of impressed ornamentation around the belly, leaving the remaining surface unadorned. One has a neck in the shape of an ox with large eyes and pointed vertical horns. The surface of the head is decorated with the small, square spirals known as ...



[Wu-wei ; Liangzhou]

Chinese town in central Gansu Province, historically a major communications centre and military town on the Silk Route. From the Western Han period (206 bcad 9), Wuwei was an important frontier post guarding a strategic part of the Great Wall in the Hexi Corridor. A large garrison was stationed at the town, manning several outlying forts and watch-towers along the Silk Route. Many Han (206 bcad 220) documents written on bamboo slips have been found in several of the watchtowers around Wuwei. An important Han tomb (Leitai, nr Wumei) of ad 186–219 contained bronze figurines and models of chariots and horses, including a ‘flying horse’ (Lanzhou, Gansu Prov. Mus.; see China, People’s Republic of §VII 3., (vi), (b) ).

During the Northern and Southern Dynasties period ( ad 310–589) Wuwei was the capital of several lesser states, including the Former Liang (313–76...



Henri Metzger and Thorsten Opper

Site in south-west Turkey, once the principal city of ancient Lycia. Xanthos flourished from the 7th century bc to Byzantine times, and its ruins occupy an impressive situation on a steep cliff above the River Xanthos near the modern village of Kınık. Inside the ancient city walls the two main areas are the Lycian acropolis and above this the later, Roman acropolis. Exploration of the site began in the mid-19th century after its rediscovery by the English traveller and archaeologist Sir Charles Fellows (1799–1860). Many of the important remains are in the British Museum, London.

Until the Macedonian conquest in 334 bc the architecture of Xanthos and the nearby Sanctuary of Leto (Letoön) demonstrated three main influences: Lycian or Anatolian, Persian and Greek. Though the first generally appeared before the others, they do not represent distinct chronological phases. From the end of the 4th century bc, however, the architecture of Xanthos and the Letoön conformed to the general evolution of the Hellenistic, Roman, then Byzantine Near East....



Mary S. Lawton

[Sian, Hsi’an ; formerly Chang’an, Ch’ang-an]

Capital of Shaanxi Province, China, and most significant as the nucleus of an archeologically rich area, the artefacts of which document the remarkable continuity of Chinese civilization.

Xi’an is located in the fertile loess valley of the Wei River, which was settled as early as Paleolithic times (before c. 6500 bc). For over 1000 years the capital of the empire was intermittently located there (see fig. ). From the 2nd century ad to the 14th it marked the eastern terminus of the Silk Route and hence was especially open to new ideas introduced from Central Asia. The city was most important during the Tang period ( ad 618–907; see fig. (e)), when its cosmopolitan and tolerant cultural life reflected its significance as a trading centre. With the fall of the Tang, the city was largely destroyed; although it was rebuilt in the 14th century (f), it never regained its cultural primacy....


Xia Nai  

Petra Klose

[Hsia Nai]

(b Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, 7 Feb 1910; d Beijing, 10 June 1985). Chinese archaeologist. He gained his diploma in history at Qinghua University, Beijing, in July 1937, then studied at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, under Mortimer Wheeler. He received his doctorate in 1939, with a dissertation on Egyptian archaeology. At the beginning of World War II he spent more than a year at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

After his return to China in 1941, Xia directed several excavations, particularly in Gansu Province. He was able to refute Johan Gunnar Andersson’s (1874–1960) early datings for the Qijia culture, discovered by Andersson in Guanghe County, Gansu. Xia showed that the Qijia culture dates to c. 2000–c. 1600 bc, after, not before, the Yangshao culture ( see also China, People’s Republic of §VIII 3., (i), (b) ). In autumn 1951 he led the excavations of the Warring States (...



Colin Mackenzie


Chinese necropolis in Xichuan County, Henan Province, consisting of 25 tombs and 5 chariot pits dating from the late 7th century bc to the late 6th. Tomb M2, the largest tomb, has a shaft measuring 9.2×6.5 m in plan, at the bottom of which was a wooden coffin chamber measuring 7.7×4.5 m; the tomb probably belonged to an official of the southern state of Chu, Wei (or Yuan) Zifeng (d 548 bc), and tombs M1 and M3 to his wife and concubine. Tomb M2 yielded the set of seven tripods (ding) cast for a prince and chancellor of Chu, Wangzi Wu (Prince Wu), between 558 and 552 bc (all the Xiasi bronzes are in Zhengzhou, Henan Prov. Mus. and Henan Prov. Cult. Relics Res. Inst.; see China, People’s Republic of §VII 3., (iv) ).

Other bronzes recovered from the tombs include a chime of 26 bells (the Wangsun Gao ...



Alain Thote


City and district in southern Henan Province, China. Two large tombs, generally considered to date from the 4th century bc, were found at Changtaiguan, north of the city of Xinyang. Tomb 1 probably belonged to a dignitary of the southern state of Chu .

The two tombs, like those at Changsha in Hunan Province and at Shou xian in Anhui Province, display many features typical of Chu culture and are a testament to its widespread influence. They have wooden, compartmentalized ‘outer coffins’, like the tombs found in the Jiangling region. Although pillaged before they were discovered in 1956, the tombs contained a sizeable number of personal effects in a reasonably well-preserved state, those in Tomb 1 of a higher quality than those in Tomb 2. Notable are a peal of 13 bronze bells; some zither fragments painted with hybrid animals, dragons, hunters with bows and arrows, and musicians; and two wooden lacquered sculptures of guardian animals (h. 1.52 and 1.28 m) with protruding eyes, tongues hanging down on to their chests and heads crowned with antlers. The coffins were lacquered, as were many other items, such as earthenware and wooden objects (more than 200 pieces), the backs of bronze mirrors and carved figures. In addition to the commonly used black and vermilion, gold, silver and other colours were employed for some motifs. A large drum stand, typical of Chu design, is in the form of two birds with long necks, standing back-to-back and perched over two crouching tigers (1.62×1.40 m). Next to a group of bamboo strips, some of which recorded the personal effects in Tomb 1, was a collection of utensils used to shape the bamboo prior to writing....


Alain Thote


County and small county town in Henan Province, China. In 1923 approximately 100 stylistically diverse bronzes, ranging in date from the 8th to the 6th century bc, were discovered at Lijialou during the digging of a well. The site is probably the tomb of a prince of the small state of Zheng, who reigned during the first half of the 6th century bc.

The earliest ritual vessels include li tripods, gui vessels and a square fang yan vessel for steaming food (for illustrations of vessel types see China, fig. ). Shapes and decoration, the latter composed of large-scale dragons in low relief with wide, ribbon-like bodies, connect the vessels with those dating from the first part of the Eastern Zhou period (771–256 bc) excavated at Shangcun ling , Henan Province.

Of three series of bells from Xinzheng, one consisting of four bo, one comprising nine yong zhong and one with ten ...


David M. Jones and Jaime Litvak King

Pre-Columbian site in western Morelos, Mexico, c. 40 km south-west of Cuernavaca. The site and region were occupied continuously from c. 900 bc, but are known especially for the Late-Classic-period (c. ad 600–c. 900) occupation, when an urban and ceremonial centre with monumental architecture was built around and on the artificially terraced hills known as Cerro Xochicalco and Cerro la Malinche and on the adjacent hills and plains.

The archaeological zone was first mentioned by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún in the 16th century. The Jesuit Antonio Alzate visited the site in 1777, conducted some primitive excavations on the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent and wrote a report in 1791. The Jesuit Pedro Marquez also visited the site, and his report was used by Alexander von Humboldt to describe the site and publish some illustrations of it in 1810. In 1877 Antonio Peñafiel made a study of the monumental architecture then known. Excavations were conducted by ...