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This paper discusses the Mithraic reliefs found in Etruria (Regio VII). The reliefs are analysed and their iconographic, archaeological and chronological features compared with a view to advancing new proposals on the cult of Mithras in the area concerned. The paper focuses first on the new Mithraic relief discovered in Veii and discusses the presence of a specific object that constitutes the most original iconographic feature of the relief. It can be seen aligned behind Mithras' head, which obscures its central part: considering its shape and the presence of the quiver over Mithras' right shoulder, the object can be identified as a bow. The object's specific position, probably connected to the symbolic importance of the bow in the mysteries of Mithras, is unique not only among Mithraic reliefs but also in the surviving Mithraic evidence from the Roman world. The other reliefs from Etruria are analysed, with a brief description of the type of iconography, the chronology and archaeological context of each piece. Comparing the reliefs allows us to pinpoint differences in size, style and chronology, highlighting the uniqueness of the new relief from Veii. These differences can be put down to factors that are yet to be examined in more detail, connected to the clients and the workshops operating in the region. The study concludes that the Veii relief can be considered not only the oldest and most stylistically refined of these pieces, but also one of the earliest attestations of the cult of Mithras in Etruria.

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psychoactive or not) are found within an archeological context concerns whether or not they were introduced by humans. For this reason, a distinction between anthropic and environmental plant remains is usually taken into consideration, assigning them two

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Abstract  

The promise associated with early ancient DNA results has not been translated into routine techniques of value to archaeologists. The reasons for this are partly technical - ancient DNA analysis is an extremely difficult technique - and partly practical - ancient DNA analysis is often an after thought to an archaeological project. In this paper ancient human DNA analysis is briefly reviewed paying particular attention to specimens originating from Greek archaeological contexts. Problems commonly encountered during ancient DNA research are summarised and recommendations for future strategies in the application of ancient DNA in archaeology are proposed.

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The paper presents the bronze cauldron discovered in 2009 in the vicinity of Sângeorgiu de Pădure. After specifying its typological characteristics, other bronze artefacts from its surroundings, the find spot, the characteristics of the landscape and the role played by the cauldron within this landscape are also taken into consideration.

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Abstract  

In forensic contexts, time since death assessment in human skeletal remains is crucial for identification, and both accuracy and reliability are required. In this paper, we present the possibilities and constraints of the use of 210Pb in dating skeletonized human bones in Morocco. The method was tested on recent as well as archaeological bones of known dates of death. A calibration curve was obtained from the available data in the scientific literature. The 210Pb initial activity was introduced as an increasing lineal function with time. The 210Pb dating approach gives promising results only for recent bones. On the contrary, for archaeological bones, the technique has erroneously led to post-mortem intervals in the range of recent bones which constitute a serious limitation of the method. On the other hand, uranium isotopes content in bones is suggested in this work as a possible indicator in placing a studied bone within either a forensic or archaeological context.

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Papyrus on the Pyre

The Derveni Papyrus and Its Archeological Context

Author: Gábor Betegh

The paper examines the possible interrelations between the archeological context of the Derveni papyrus and the physical and eschatological doctrines held by its author. On the basis of a brief survey of the archeological data and the comparative material, Betegh argues that the placement of the papyrus is not by chance and that it probably had a role in the ritual. In the next step, he summarises the main results of a reconstruction of the physics and cosmology of the Derveni author, and raises the problem of the connection between the eschatological theme of the first six columns and the physics and cosmic theology of the remainder of the text. Finally, he suggests that the common denominator of all these themes, doctrines and lores is the fire with its cosmological and eschatological role. In this respect, an important claim of the Derveni author could be that the ultimate cosmological and eschatological principle is not fire, as e.g., for Heraclitus, quoted in the papyrus, but fire - in the form of the celestial bodies, the thunderbolt of Zeus, or the funeral pyre - is the instrument with the help of which the intelligent and divine air maintains cosmic order and divine justice.

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Abstract  

Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was used to determine 29 elements in pumice from several volcanic sources (Milos, Nisyros, Yali, Kos and Thera) in the Aegean Sea, Greece, to establish a data basis for the identification of pumice and tephra layers found in archaeological context. The widespread products of the “Minoan Eruption” of the Thera volcano can now be distinguished clearly from all other sources and will be used to establish a datumline in the Eastern Mediterranean Region in the second millenium B.C. The elements Al, As, Ba, Ca, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Dy, Eu, Fe, Hf, K, La, Lu, Mn, Na, Nd, Rb, Sb, Sc, Sm, Ta, Ti, Th, U, V, Yb and Zr were determined in 14 samples from Milos, 25 samples from Nisyros, 7 samples from Yali, 7 samples from Kos and 17 samples from Thera. Two cycles of irradiation and four measurement runs were applied. The results were compared and suitable groups, typical for each island, were classified. Due to insufficiently comparable data sets, the criteria for distinguishing the different sources have not been revealed by previous studies. This basic knowledge was used to relate pumice from excavations in Tell-el-Dab'a (Egypt) and Bronze Age Knossos to their specific volcanic origin.

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Abstract  

Our times are characterized by an increasing need for prospection particularly within the context of rescue archaeology. Geophysics has an important part to play due to its ability to identify some well defined targets as well as to investigate large areas. Several recent surveys, using carefully selected methods chosen in accordance with the type of expected remain or a combination of methods in order to refine or confirm the interpretation, have demonstrated the expertise of several organisations in a wide variety of archaeological contexts. However, important improvements are still to be expected from the laboratories. Our team, working within the framework of three dissertations, is investigating several original subjects, for which the initial results are presented and discussed here: (1) The use of magnetic susceptibility measurements on wide mesh grids in order to survey extensive areas immediately prior to their occupation or destruction by large modern equipment; (2) Experiments to test a new survey device (Slingram - CS150) able to measure the magnetic susceptibility of the ground; (3) Interpretation of a series of geophysical measurements integrated with other types of data into a G.I.S.

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Abstract  

Archaeological reconnaissance in the Yemen Arab Republic produced samples of mediaeval Islamic ceramics in a 100 km2 region centred at Zabid. The ceramics dated from 700 A. D. to 1750 A. D. and initial research indicated that they were all locally made products. Twelves types of ceramics were selected for sampling on the basis of stylistic decoration; nine types were red bodied and three types were white bodied. Six laboratory samples of each type were subjected to neutron activation analysis for the short-lived isotope producing elements using the SLOWPOKE reactor at the University of Toronto. The results showed very tight sherd groupings, with all the red wares of discrete composition and all the white wares of a different discrete composition. Hence the same two clay sources have been utilized over a thousand years. However, a comparison of both ware types with Nile alluvium red ware and Aswan white ware from Egypt, tested for the same elements, produced unexpected results. Although the white wares from Egypt and Yemen were quite different chemically, the red wares showed remarkable chemical similarity. In order to subject the data to a more rigorous statistical testing, a multivariate discriminate analysis programme was applied. The analysis confirmed that the Yemeni and Egyptian white wares could easily be separated. The Yemeni red and Nile alluvium red wares were also separated into the two groups with a very high prediction rate, in spite of the fact that, on visual inspection of the data, no substantial differences were evident. It is clear, therefore, that artifact analysis must be conducted with due respect given to the archaeological context, the elemental chemistry, and sound statistical procedures.

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-Byzantium affinity and difference in the production of luxury goods . In: Byzantine Small Finds in Archaeological Contexts . Eds: B. B öhlendorf-Arslan , A. R icci . BYZAS 15 . Istanbul 2012 . S chulze –D örrlamm 2009

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