An international conference focused on the beginnings of mining and metallurgy in the Caucasus was organised in Tbilisi in June 16th-19th 2016 under the auspices of the National Museum of Georgia. This conference, which was funded by the Agence nationale de la recherche (France) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Germany), aimed at discussing the intricate relationships between the emergence of mining and metallurgy, and the shaping of late prehistoric societies in south-western Asia. The Caucasus is renowned in Near Eastern archaeology for its wealth in natural resources, in particular in metal ores: for decades, scholars have surmised a specific causal relationships between the rise of complex, hierarchical societies in the Near‐East and the development of extractive metallurgy. Metallurgy, however, is only the most visible part of the story that accounts for the dramatic changes perceptible in south‐western Asia in the course of the 5th millennium BCE. Early mining, which is not restricted to metal-ore mining, certainly also had an impact in terms of economic networks, social dynamics, settlement patterns and regional integration, not only across the Caucasus, but also in the ancient Near and Middle East. Drawing on these fundamental questions, this book explores the socio-economic, technological and environmental background that favoured the rise of systematic mining and extractive metallurgy in the Caucasus at the end of the Chalcolithic. How far was early mining linked to the spread of specific subsistence strategies such as pastoral herding? Were mined resources mainly intended for local consumption or distributed throughout the Near East, towards Anatolia, Iran or Mesopotamia? Here are some of the issues that are discussed in the present volume, which contains 21 articles written by some of the most eminent specialists in Caucasian archaeology.
The first major synthesis of African archaeobotany in decades, this book focuses on Paleolithic archaeobotany and the relationship between agriculture and social complexity. It explores the effects that plant life has had on humans as they evolved from primates through the complex societies of Africa, including Egypt, the Buganda Kingdom, southern African polities, and other regions. With over 30 contributing scholars from 12 countries and extensive illustrations, this volume is an essential addition to our knowledge of humanity’s relationship with plants.
The Middle Ages are all around us in Britain. The Tower of London and the castles of Scotland and Wales are mainstays of cultural tourism and an inspiring cross-section of later medieval finds can now be seen on display in museums across England, Scotland, and Wales. Medieval institutions fromParliament and monarchy to universities are familiar to us and we come into contact with the later Middle Ages every day when we drive through a village or town, look up at the castle on the hill, visit a local church or wonder about the earthworks in the fields we see from the window of a train.The Oxford Handbook of Later Medieval Archaeology in Britain provides an overview of the archaeology of the later Middle Ages in Britain between AD 1066 and 1550. 61 entries, divided into 10 thematic sections, cover topics ranging from later medieval objects, human remains, archaeological science,standing buildings, and sites such as castles and monasteries, to the well-preserved relict landscapes which still survive. This is a rich and exciting period of the past and most of what we have learnt about the material culture of our medieval past has been discovered in the past two generations.This volume provides comprehensive coverage of the latest research and describes the major projects and concepts that are changing our understanding of our medieval heritage.
Category: Anatolien - Mythologie - Eurasien - Geschichte
There is a broad cultural region with related traditions of mythical beliefs interconnected by long-term contacts during prehistoric times. This area - called here the "Mythological Crescent" - is a zone of cultural convergence that extends from the ancient Middle East via Anatolia to southeastern Europe, opening into the wide cultural landscape of Eurasia.The very old interconnections between Eurasia and Anatolia are explored in this study for the first time. In a comparative view, striking similarities can be reconstructed for the ancient belief systems and the imagery of both regions which suggest convergent cosmological conceptualizations of high age. The beliefs and ritual practices of the indigenous peoples of Eurasia are rooted in the shamanism of the oldest cultural layers of the Palaeolithic. Although socioeconomic development in Anatolia was markedly different from cultural evolution in Eurasia, the hunters and gatherers in Anatolia who adopted sedentary lifeways did not entirely lose their ancient beliefs during the transition to plant cultivation (in the eighth millennium BCE). Archaic beliefs and imagery fused with new practices and innovations during the development of agrarian societies. One diagnostic motif which was perpetuated from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic and beyond is represented by the production of female figurines (statuettes). Their significance for communal life has been linked to spiritual concepts of the continuity of life, the vegetation cycle, and the protection of the natural habitat of all living things as recorded in myths and historical folk art of Uralic and other peoples. The bear plays a significant role as a mythical animal in the imagery of Eurasia whereas this motif was lost in Anatolia during the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages.
This volume celebrates the career of archaebotanist Professor Gordon C. Hillman. Twenty-eight papers cover a wide range of topics reflecting the great influence that Hillman has had in the field of archaeobotany. Many of his favourite research topics are covered, the body of the text being split into four sections: Personal reflections on Professor Hillman's career; archaeobotanical theory and method; ethnoarchaeological and cultural studies; and ancient plant use from sites and regions around the world. The collection demonstrates, as Gordon Hillman believes, that the study of archaebotany is not only valuable, but vital for any study of humanity.
The Routledge Handbook of Diet and Nutrition in the Roman World presents a comprehensive overview of the sources, issues and methodologies involved in the study of the Roman diet. The focus of the book is on the Mediterranean heartland from the second century BC to the third and fourth centuries AD. Life is impossible without food, but what people eat is not determined by biology alone, and this makes it a vital subject of social and historical study. The Handbook takes a multidisciplinary approach in which all kinds of sources and disciplines are combined to study the diet and nutrition of men, women and children in city and countryside in the Roman world. The chapters in this book are structured in five parts. Part I introduces the reader to the wide range of textual, material and bioarchaeological evidence concerning food and nutrition. Part II offers an overview of various kinds of food and drink, including cereals, pulses, olive oil, meat and fish, and the social setting of their consumption. Part III goes beyond the perspective of the Roman adult male by concentrating on women and children, on the cultures of Roman Egypt and Central Europe, as well as the Jews in Palestine and the impact of Christianity. Part IV provides a forum to three scholars to offer their thoughts on what physical anthropology contributes to our understanding of health, diet and (mal)nutrition. The final section puts food supply and its failure in the context of community and empire.
The papers in this volume revisit one of the concerns which dominated environmental archaeology through the 1960s and 1970s, namely the timing, nature and extent of human impact on the environment. The thirteen contributions reflect the diversity of approaches and ideas today and show how our understanding of the place of people in ecosystems is now more subtle. There are papers on palynological evidence from the Strymon Delta in Macedonia; prehistoric copper mining at Mount Gabriel, Ireland; fungal spores as anthropogenic indicators on Shetland; prehistoric human impact on the prehistoric environments of Orkney, North York Moors and the Mid-Devon landscape; mites as indicators of human impact in the Netherlands; the disappearance of Elmid `Riffle Beetles' from lowland river systems in Britain; and case studies from further afield: palaeoenvironmental reconstruction in the Central Mexican Highlands; food plant availability in the Murchison Basin, Western Australia, prior to European arrival and Paleoindian expansion into South America.
"Greek archaeologist Soultana Maria Valamoti takes readers on a culinary journey in her synthesis of plant foods and culinary practices of Neolithic and Bronze Age Greece. Plant foods were the main ingredients of daily meals in prehistoric Greece and most likely of special dishes prepared for feasts and rituals. For more than thirty years, Valamoti has been analyzing a large body of archaeobotanic data that spans 7,000 years from the Neolithic to Bronze Age and that was retrieved from nearly one hundred sites in mainland Greece and the Greek islands. This book also reflects experimentation and research of ancient written sources. Her approach allows an exploration of culinary variability through time. The thousands of charred seeds identified from occupation debris correspond to minuscule time capsules. She is able to document changes from the cooking of the first farmers to the sophisticated cuisines of the elites who inhabited palaces in the first cities of Europe in the south of Greece during the Late Bronze Age. Along the way, she explains the complex processes for the addition of new ingredients (such as millet and olives), condiments, sweet tastes, and complex recipes. "Ancient Grains" also explores regional variability and diversity. Rich chapters are devoted to overviewing plantstuffs in their spatial and temporal distribution, with ritual and symbolic significance noted, and also to broader themes and practices. The main chapters are on bread/cereals, pulses, oils, fruit and nuts, fermented brews, healing foods, cooking, and identity. Valamoti also offers insight into engaging in public archaeology and provides recipes that incorporate ancient plant ingredients and connect prehistory to the present in a critical way. Finally, a thorough bibliography also includes archaeobotanical publications in Greek. Copious color and black and white photos enhance the text"--
Anglo-Saxon farming has traditionally been seen as the wellspring of English agriculture, setting the pattern for 1000 years to come – but it was more important than that. A rich harvest of archaeological data is now revealing the untold story of agricultural innovation, the beginnings of a revolution, in the age of Bede. Armed with a powerful new dataset, Farming Transformed explores fundamental questions about the minutiae of early medieval farming and its wider relevance. How old were sheep left to grow, for example, and what pathologies did cattle sustain? What does wheat chaff have to do with lordship and the market economy? What connects ovens in Roman Germany with barley maltings in early medieval Northamptonshire? And just how interested were Saxon nuns in cultivating the opium poppy? Farming Transformed is the first book to draw together the variegated evidence of pollen, sediments, charred seeds, animal bones, watermills, corn-drying ovens, granaries and stockyards on an extensive, regional scale. The result is an inter-disciplinary dataset of unprecedented scope and size, which reveals how cereal cultivation boomed, and new watermills, granaries and ovens were erected to cope with – and flaunt – the fat of the land. As arable farming grew at the expense of pasture, sheep and cattle came under closer management and lived longer lives, yielding more wool, dairy goods, and traction power for plowing. These and other innovations are found to be concentrated at royal, aristocratic and monastic centers, placing lordship at the forefront of agricultural innovation, and farming as the force behind kingdom-formation and economic resurgence in the seventh and eighth centuries.