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basic rest-activity cycle

A biological rhythm of waxing and waning alertness with a period of approximately 90 minutes in humans. During sleep it controls the cycles of REM and slow-wave sleep. Also called the ...

Cult

Cult   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
5,924 words
Illustration(s):
3

...great poetic compositions, the mythic Baal cycle, and the epic stories “Kirta” and “Aqhat,” written in a Canaanite dialect in an alphabetic cuneiform script, were unearthed; many lesser mythic texts of interest have appeared as well, some as recently as the last thirty years (see, for example, texts in Ugaritica , vol. 5, Jean Nougayrol et al., eds., Paris, 1968 ). These critical discoveries supplement the largely Phoenician mythological lore of Sakkunyaton from the first millennium; they tend to confirm the basic authenticity of much of Sakkunyaton's lore,...

Sumerian

Sumerian   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
2,604 words
Illustration(s):
1

...describe events with divine protagonists that take place in a supernatural world. They revolve around the gods Enki, Enlil, Inanna (and Dumuzi), Ninurta, and other deities. Epics. Two cycles of narrative texts with superhuman protagonists have been preserved: one deals with Gilgamesh (five compositions) and the other with Lugalbanda and Enmerkar (four compositions). Both cycles originated in Uruk. Historical texts. There is a very large number of commemorative royal inscriptions, from all places and dynasties. Some of them can be quite extensive, such as...

Agriculture

Agriculture   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
6,242 words
Illustration(s):
3

...over thousands of years bent to new urban-based demands. Typically for the Syro-Palestinian region, this process took place in the context of increasing relations with more highly organized and more powerful neighbors, in this case, a unified Egypt. The basic structure of the Mediterranean mixed economy rests on the region's sharp climatic biseasonality. The beginning of the agricultural year finds the fields hard baked by five months of rainless summer, during which high insolation rates drain the soil of all its moisture. The winter rains must fall to...

House

House   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
21,033 words
Illustration(s):
14

...northern Iraq and Syria in ways that do not exist for the Hassunan, Samarran, and Ubaid cultures. Mesopotamian Urban Housing. There are several basic functional distinctions between the houses built in Neolithic villages and those associated with later Mesopotamian cities. The former generally included considerable amounts of unroofed communal space. In the later urban centers, areas set aside for outdoor activities (because for much of the year it is cooler and pleasanter to be outside, so long as there is shade) had to be incorporated within the houses...

Palestine

Palestine   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
25,655 words
Illustration(s):
1

...fowl is wider than for any previous Epipaleolithic entity. Natufıan subsistence strategy responded to the increase of basic group size and sedentism. The Harifıan culture ( c. 10,700–10,1000 bp ) in the Negev and Sinai is interpreted as a cultural adaptation of Late Natufıan to the dry and cold conditions of the Younger Dryas. (This brief cold and dry period is now recognized globally and considered the last cold spell of the last glacial cycle.) Their small winter sites were dispersed in the lowlands while the larger summer–fall sites were in the highlands....

Temples

Temples   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
11,480 words
Illustration(s):
4

...“real” functions so completely that full-scale model buildings can fulfill their ritual purpose without any interior rooms or cult activities, for example, the Djoser complex. Some temples were completely designed to represent symbolically a certain aspect of the “world.” For example, the architectural layout of the twenty-fifth dynasty Taharqa temple at Karnak permitted the priests to recreate in dramatic form the daily cycle of the sun in its four life phases—Khepre at sunrise, Re at noon, Atum at sunset, and the ba of Re at night. Bibliography Arnold,...

Syria

Syria   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
20,061 words
Illustration(s):
2

...Syria and is heavily cultivated. The rest of the interior consists of steppe that becomes desert in the southeast as rainfall diminishes. Those lands are the home of pastoralists, the several tribes of bedouin that range over the Syrian interior. There are wide variations in rainfall from year to year and over longer periods that can cause catastrophic crop failure in the short term and bring about major shifts in settlement when dry spells persist for decades or more. During the Pleistocene there were repeated major cycles of cool and warm climate for a...

Egypt

Egypt   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
14,140 words
Illustration(s):
5

...Irregular trenches and pits testify to the ability of the people to quarry for stone, although their efforts were neither as systematic or efficient as those seen at the Upper Paleolithic quarries in the same area. Near the end of the Middle Paleolithic, the river began a cycle of downcutting, incising a deep channel to a level near that of the river today. There are no sites in Egypt that can be correlated with this period, although some are known north of the Second Cataract in Sudan. Upper Paleolithic. Around 33,000 bp , the Upper Paleolithic...

History of the Field

History of the Field   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
40,352 words

...the last season of excavation at Knossos, Evans presented a paper at an international congress in Athens outlining the basic chronological framework of Minoan civilization. His basic sequence of Early, Middle, and Late Minoan, with each period having three subdivisions, is still used (MacEnroe, 1995 ). Carl Blegen , in 1921 , used this basic tripartite structure to work out a similar sequence for the Greek mainland, designating the basic periods as Helladic, in place of Minoan. This, too, is still the sequence used. Evans was really a gifted amateur, with...

Agriculture

Agriculture   Reference library

Oded Borowski

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Archaeology, Religion
Length:
5,683 words
Illustration(s):
1

... 23:10–11 : “For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow.…You shall do the same with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.” During the sabbatical year, pruning the vine was forbidden ( Lev 25:4 ); consumption of grapes produced by an unpruned vine was forbidden as well ( Lev 25:5 , 11 ). It seems that if fallowing was practiced at all, it was included in a cycle of crop rotation. There is possible evidence, although not straightforward, to suggest that crop rotation was...

Inca Civilization

Inca Civilization   Reference library

Terence N. D’Altroy, William H. Isbell, Terence N. D’Altroy, Charles Stanish, William H. Isbell, Gary Urton, and John E. Kicza

The Oxford Companion To Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
8,689 words

...their descendants, sustained by extensive royal estates that also provided for the descendent kin groups. The sacred calendar contained twelve lunar months, beginning with Qhapaq Raymi, which contained the winter solstice, while the annual cycle was based on solar observations. Each month was tied to a ritual cycle, marked by public ceremonies. The Incas envisioned the landscape as both a physical and social entity, into which their history was written conceptually and materially through an array ( zeq’e system) of hundreds of shrines ( waq’a ) radiating...

Maya Civilization

Maya Civilization   Reference library

Patricia A. McAnany, Satoru Murata, David Humiston Kelley, Michael D. Coe, Gerardo Aldana, T. Patrick Culbert, Simon Martin, Payson D. Sheets, T. Patrick Culbert, Astrid Runggaldier, George Michaels, Patricia A. McAnany, and Jason Yaeger

The Oxford Companion To Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
13,801 words

...of the ancient Maya population was regularly engaged in specialized craft production activities. In most cases, those activities were probably under the patronage of the local ruling elites, rather than independent economic activities. The one clear exception to this reconstruction is the site of Colha in northern Belize, where restricted chert resources in the region were masterfully exploited by the residents of Colha to serve the demand for stone implements in the rest of northern Belize, where appropriate stone resources are not generally available. The...

East Africa

East Africa   Reference library

Paul J. Lane, Pamela Rae Willoughby, John E. G. Sutton, John E. G. Sutton, Mark Horton, and John E. G. Sutton

The Oxford Companion To Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
11,104 words

...there developed intensive seasonal activity in obtaining the saline soil or brine, filtering it, and boiling it in coarse pots. With their essential service industries, such centers became regional markets, not for salt alone but also for food, livestock, and specialist products including ironware. Several of these salt sources have been investigated archaeologically and have provided valuable regional Iron Age sequences. At Ivuna in southwestern Tanzania and Kibiro on the Ugandan shore of Lake Albert, the activity stretches back some eight centuries,...

Egypt

Egypt   Reference library

Donald Malcolm Reid, Neil Asher Silberman, Diane Holmes, Isabella Caneva, Ogden Goelet, Miroslav Bárta, Donald B. Spanel, Josef Wegner, and Edward Bleiberg

The Oxford Companion To Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
13,837 words

...of each group to a different ecological microenviroment. The repeated frequentation of seasonal settlements, mainly riverine, is attested by traces of specialized hunting and fishing activities, which probably included practices of fish smoking and storing. The development of a more stable settlement pattern as well as the widening range of food resources and subsistence activities, though still limited to hunting, fishing, and gathering, might be included in a general process of sedentarization, parallel to that observed in the Near East, where it led to the...

Mesoamerica

Mesoamerica   Reference library

Charlotte Beck, Thomas W. Killion, Barbara Voorhies, Jon Lohse, D. C. Grove, Arlen F. Chase, Deborah L. Nichols, Frances F. Berdan, Thomas H. Charlton, Janine Gasco, and William R. Fowler

The Oxford Companion To Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
15,106 words

...show that these coastal peoples also began cultivating maize by 2700 BC , consistent with most of the rest of Mesoamerica. A contemporaneous inland site, situated upriver from one of the shell mounds, may be the remains of a village. The excavated portion of Vuelta Limón revealed a trash disposal area that perhaps served a village or hamlet, although hearths or house remains were uncovered. Artifact diversity suggests a wider range of activities than at the wetland sites. Analysis of phytoliths indicates that the site was located in a forest, but...

South America

South America   Reference library

Charlotte Beck, Charles Stanish, Tom D. Dillehay, Thomas Pozorski, Shelia Pozorski, Anna Roosevelt, José Proenza Brochado, Francisco S. Noelli, James A. Zeidler, Theresa Lange Topic, Mary Van Buren, and Andrés Zarankin

The Oxford Companion To Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
13,578 words

...with most innovations coming from the outside. D. W. Lathrap’s model argues for a very early occupation of Central and Lower Amazonia that would develop as a center from which most innovation diffused to the rest of South America. So far, the data strongly support this model, as has been demonstrated by research by A. C. Roosevelt. Both models rest heavily on the displacement or replacement of ceramic styles, explained by human migrations or diffusion. Neither has yet been proven because very little research has been carried out. The first evidence of human...

Europe

Europe   Reference library

Chris Scarre, Anthony Sinclair, Steven Mithen, Nicky Milner, Chris Scarre, Andrew Sherratt, Sarunas Milisauskas, Anthony F. Harding, John Collis, Greg Woolf, and Matthew H. Johnson

The Oxford Companion To Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
18,026 words

...BC. One of the most significant was the gradual expansion of settlement beyond the river valleys that had been the principal focus of Bandkeramik activity. Another was the gradual change in house forms. The rectangular, parallel-sided Bandkeramik house was replaced by longhouses of trapezoidal plan, and then, in the Michelsberg/TRB phase, by smaller and less substantial dwellings. This shift may be related to basic social changes such as the rise of more hierarchical community structures. The same changes may be reflected in the construction during this period...

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