Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines. Archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology is distinct from palaeontology, the study of fossil remains, it is important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world. Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and analysis of data collected to learn more about the past. In broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research, it draws upon anthropology, art history, ethnology, geology, literary history, semiology, textual criticism, information sciences, statistics, paleography, paleontology and paleobotany. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, has since become a discipline practiced across the world. Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Since its early development, various specific sub-disciplines of archaeology have developed, including maritime archaeology, feminist archaeology and archaeoastronomy, numerous different scientific techniques have been developed to aid archaeological investigation. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, opposition to the excavation of human remains.
The science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with particular attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts, as well as historical sites. Antiquarianism focused on the empirical evidence that existed for the understanding of the past, encapsulated in the motto of the 18th-century antiquary, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts not theory". Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Flavio Biondo, an Italian Renaissance humanist historian, created a systematic guide to the ruins and topography of ancient Rome in the early 15th century, for which he has been called an early founder of archaeology. Antiquarians of the 16th century, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, drawing and interpreting the monuments that they encountered.
One of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England. John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, he was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings. He attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out by the Spanish military engineer Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of, covered by ash during the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79; these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and human shapes, as well the unearthing of frescos, had a big impact throughout Europe. However, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard; the father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington. He undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798.
Cunnington made meticulous recordings of Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, the terms he used to categorize and describe them are still used by archaeologists today. One of the major achievements of 19th-century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy; the idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton and Charles Lyell. The application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites. In the third and fourth decades of the 19th-century, archaeologists like Jacques Boucher de Perthes and Christian Jürgensen Thomsen began to put the artifacts they had found in chronological order. A major figure in the development of archaeology into a rigorous science was the army officer and ethnologist, Augustus Pitt Rivers, who began excavations on his land in England in the 1880s, his approach was methodical by the standards of the time, he is regarded as the first scientific archaeologist.
He arranged his artifacts by type or "typologically, within types by date or "chronologically"
A pit-house is a building, dug into the ground, covered by a roof. Besides providing shelter from extremes of weather, these structures may be used to store food and for cultural activities like the telling of stories, dancing and celebrations. General dictionaries describe a pit-house as a dugout, it has similarities to a half-dugout. In archaeology, a pit-house is called a sunken featured building and hut or grubhouse, after the German name Grubenhaus They are found in numerous cultures around the world, including the people of the American Southwest, the ancestral Pueblo, the ancient Fremont and Mogollon cultures, the Cherokee, the Inuit, the people of the Plateau, archaic residents of Wyoming in North America. Anglo-Saxon pit-houses may have represented buildings for other functions than just dwellings. All that remains of the ancient pit-house is a dug-out hollow in the ground and any postholes used to support the roof. In the nineteenth century, it was believed that most prehistoric peoples lived in pit-houses, although it has since been proved that many of the features thought of as houses were in fact food prehistoric storage pits or served another purpose.
The oldest pit dwellings were discovered in Central Ukraine. Dating back 15,000 years to the Upper Paleolithic age, the houses were made of mammoth bones; the base is circular or oval in shape, 12 to 14 feet in diameter, with limb bones used for walls and lighter, flat bones used for the roof. Animal hide was stretched around the exterior for insulation; each dwelling had a hearth. Groups of houses were arranged around a base camp layout, occupied by families or relatives for weeks or months. Pit-houses were built in many parts of northern Europe between the 5th and 12th centuries AD. In Germany they are known as Grubenhäuser, in the United Kingdom, they are known as grubhuts, grubhouses or sunken featured buildings. Archaeological evidence indicates they were built in a shallow sub-rectangular pit and vary in depth; some may measure 0.25m by around 2m by 1.5m, whilst examples from excavations from the 1950s onwards at West Stow in the United Kingdom are 3.7m-4.44m long x 2.72m-3.5m wide x 0.58m-0.97m deep.
Within this pit were placed two substantial wooden posts in postholes at either end of the long axis. Some archaeologists have suggested that a suspended wooden floor lay over the pit and that the cavity beneath was used for storage or to control dampness, although others have disputed this, suggesting that grubenhäuser did not have suspended floors at all. A gabled roof supported by the timber posts covered the hut, which had no windows and had a single entrance at one end. Excavations at West Stow in the 1970s found preserved evidence of charred planks, suggestive of suspended floors. Hearths were found, which sat over the edge of the sunken pits and appeared to have collapsed downwards when the structure supporting their overhanging sections was removed and that a bivouac style roof would not be practical. Grubenhäuser are understood to have been domestic dwellings. However, their use may have varied on a regional basis. In Western Europe their small size and the fact that they can be found near other buildings and associated finds of loom weights has led to theories that they had a specialised purpose such as for weaving sheds.
In the Slavonic regions of Eastern Europe, Grubenhäuser are larger and have a fireplace. In most settlements there have been no features of buildings at ground level. There are reconstructions of pit-houses in several open-air museums, e.g. in the Hitzacker Archaeological Centre, the Kalkriese Museum and Park, the Oerlinghausen Archaeological Open Air Museum, the Hochdorf Chieftain's Grave. Throughout the inland Pacific Northwest, indigenous people were nomadic during the summer and gathered resources at different spots according to the season and tradition, but over wintered in permanent semi-subterranean pit houses at lower elevations; the winter was the only time families saw others- if they were from the same village and tribe- and congregated in any numbers before the arrival of trading posts. These houses were located along on major rivers and tributaries like the Columbia and Fraser. There was a smoke hole in the center, the interior, though warm in winter, was exceptionally smoky. In the northwestern Great Plains and the Plateau region located nearby, climate changes and extreme temperature and weather conditions made it difficult to live year-round.
Hot summers led to the building of simple tent like structures that were portable and could be packed up to move. For cold winter months, pit-houses provided the protected shelter necessary for survival. A cross-cultural middle range model of pit-house architecture using the Ethnographic Atlas found that 82 of the 862 societies in the sample occupy pit structures as either their primary or secondary dwellings. All but six of the 82 societies live above 32° north latitude, four of the six cases in this sample that are below 32° north latitude are from "high mountain" regions in east Africa and eastern Brazil; the last example is from the Yami. Three conditions were always present among groups in the sample: 1) non-tropical climate duri
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean in Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands; the term entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning "rising", implying the rising of the sun in the east, is broadly equivalent to the term Al-Mashriq, meaning "the east, where the sun rises". In the 13th and 14th centuries, the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Syria-Palestine, Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice; the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine and Egypt. In 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire; the name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War I.
This is the reason why the term Levant has come to be used more to refer to modern Syria, Palestine, Israel and Cyprus. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking. Today the term is used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references, it has the same meaning as "Syria-Palestine" or Ash-Shaam, the area, bounded by the Taurus Mountains of Turkey in the North, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. Cilicia and the Sinai Peninsula are sometimes included; the term Levant was used to describe the region from the 18th to the mid-19th centuries, has had steady but lower usage since the late 19th century. Both the noun Levant and the adjective Levantine are now used to describe the ancient and modern culture area called Syro-Palestinian or Biblical: archaeologists now speak of the Levant and of Levantine archaeology; the Levant has been described as the "crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, northeast Africa", the "northwest of the Arabian plate".
The populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, history. They are referred to as Levantines; the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497 meant the East in general or "Mediterranean lands east of Italy". It is borrowed from the French levant "rising", referring to the rising of the sun in the east, or the point where the sun rises; the phrase is from the Latin word levare, meaning'lift, raise'. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, in Hebrew. Most notably, "Orient" and its Latin source oriens meaning "east", is "rising", deriving from Latin orior "rise"; the notion of the Levant has undergone a dynamic process of historical evolution in usage and understanding. While the term "Levantine" referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional "native" and "minority" groups; the term became current in English in the 16th century, along with the first English merchant adventurers in the region.
The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, in 1670 the French Compagnie du Levant was founded for the same purpose. At this time, the Far East was known as the "Upper Levant". In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, as well as independent Greece. In 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture; the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states. Today, "Levant" is the term used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a "wider, yet relevant, cultural corpus" that does not have the "political overtones" of Syria-Palestine; the term is used for modern events, states or parts of states in the same region, namely Cyprus, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Turkey are sometimes considered Levant countries.
Several researchers include the island of Cyprus in Levantine studies, including the Council for British Research in the Levant, the UCLA Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department, Journal of Levantine Studies and the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the last of which has dated the connection between Cyprus and mainland Levant to the early Iron Age. Archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation, neither biblical n
Pfahlbaumuseum Unteruhldingen is an archaeological open-air museum on Lake Constance in Unteruhldingen, consisting of reconstructions of stilt houses or lake dwellings from the Neolithic Stone Age and Bronze Age. The museum consists of a number of exhibits displaying archeological finds from the period; the archaeological open-air museum is laid out over a large area with reconstructions of lake pile dwellings from 4000 BC to 850 BC. The museum was opened in 1922 with various reconstructions being added up until the present day. In 1922, the first two stilt houses were erected, they are based on archaeological excavations in a bog close to the Federsee near Bad Schussenried in 1920 where remains of a Neolithic settlement of 4000 BC were found. Is an idealistic reconstruction of late Bronze Age buildings on a platform, built between 1923 and 1931. Built between 1938 and 1940 based on early stone age stilt dwellings. Stone age reconstructions built between 1996 and 1998. A number of dwellings built between 1999 and 2002.
Building moved to the site used in the TV program “Steinzeit - Das Experiment. Leben wie vor 5000 Jahren” Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps Post in ground Pfahlbauten open-air museum
Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich; the municipality has 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the busiest in the country. Permanently settled for over 2,000 years, Zürich was founded by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6,400 years ago. During the Middle Ages, Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, became a primary centre of the Protestant Reformation in Europe under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli; the official language of Zürich is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Zürich German. Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus.
Schauspielhaus Zürich is one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world. Zürich is a leading global city and among the world's largest financial centres despite having a small population; the city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking companies. Most of Switzerland's research and development centres are concentrated in Zürich and the low tax rates attract overseas companies to set up their headquarters there. Monocle's 2012 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Zürich first on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within". According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zürich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe in terms of GDP per capita; the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking sees Zürich rank among the top ten most liveable cities in the world. In German, the city name is written Zürich, pronounced in Swiss Standard German. In Zürich German, the local dialect of Swiss German, the name is pronounced without the final consonant, as Züri, although the adjective remains Zürcher.
The city is called Zurich in French, Zurigo in Italian, Turitg in Romansh. In English, the name used to be written without the umlaut. So, standard English practice for German calques is to either preserve the umlaut or replace it with the base letter followed by e, it is pronounced ZEWR-ik, more sometimes with /ts/, as in German. The earliest known form of the city's name is Turicum, attested on a tombstone of the late 2nd century AD in the form STA TURICEN; the name is interpreted as a derivation from a given name Gaulish personal name Tūros, for a reconstructed native form of the toponym of *Turīcon. The Latin stress on the long vowel of the Gaulish name, was lost in German but is preserved in Italian and in Romansh; the first development towards its Germanic form is attested as early as the 6th century with the form Ziurichi. From the 9th century onward, the name is established in an Old High German form Zurih. In the early modern period, the name became associated with the name of the Tigurini, the name Tigurum rather than the historical Turicum is sometimes encountered in Modern Latin contexts.
Settlements of the Neolithic and Bronze Age were found around Lake Zürich. Traces of pre-Roman Celtic, La Tène settlements were discovered near the Lindenhof, a morainic hill dominating the SE - NW waterway constituted by Lake Zurich and the river Limmat. In Roman times, during the conquest of the alpine region in 15 BC, the Romans built a castellum on the Lindenhof. Here was erected Turicum, a tax-collecting point for goods trafficked on the Limmat, which constituted part of the border between Gallia Belgica and Raetia: this customs point developed into a vicus. After Emperor Constantine's reforms in AD 318, the border between Gaul and Italy was located east of Turicum, crossing the river Linth between Lake Walen and Lake Zürich, where a castle and garrison looked over Turicum's safety; the earliest written record of the town dates from the 2nd century, with a tombstone referring to it as to the Statio Turicensis Quadragesima Galliarum, discovered at the Lindenhof. In the 5th century, the Germanic Alemanni tribe settled in the Swiss Plateau.
The Roman castle remained standing until the 7th century. A Carolingian castle, built on the site of the Roman castle by the grandson of Charlemagne, Louis the German, is mentioned in 835. Louis founded the Fraumünster abbey in 853 for his daughter Hildegard, he endowed the Benedictine convent with the lands of Zürich and the Albis forest, granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority. In 1045, King Henry III granted the convent the right to hold markets, collect tolls, mint coins, thus made the abbess the ruler of the city. Zürich gained Imperial immediacy in 1218 with the extinction of the main line of the Zähringer family and attained a status comparable to statehood. During the 1230s, a city wall was built, enclosing 38 hectares, when the earliest stone houses on the Rennweg were built as well; the Carolingian castle was used as a quarry, as it had st
Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in
Knap of Howar
The Knap of Howar on the island of Papa Westray in Orkney, Scotland is a Neolithic farmstead which may be the oldest preserved stone house in northern Europe. Radiocarbon dating shows that it was occupied from 3700 BC to 2800 BC, earlier than the similar houses in the settlement at Skara Brae on the Orkney Mainland; the farmstead consists of two adjacent rounded rectangular thick-walled buildings with low doorways facing the sea. The larger and older structure is linked by a low passageway to the other building, interpreted as a workshop or a second house, they were constructed on an earlier midden, were surrounded by midden material which has protected them. There are no windows. Though they now stand close to the shore, they would have lain inland; the shore shows how the local stone splits into thin slabs, giving a ready source of construction material. The walls still stand to an eaves height of 1.6 metres, the stone furniture is intact giving a vivid impression of life in the house. Fireplaces, partition screens and storage shelves are intact, post holes were found indicating the roof structure.
Evidence from the middens shows that the inhabitants were keeping cattle and pigs, cultivating barley and wheat and gathering shellfish as well as fishing for species which have to be line caught using boats. Finds of finely-made and decorated Unstan ware pottery link the inhabitants to chambered cairn tombs nearby and to sites far afield including Balbridie and Eilean Domhnuill; the name Howar is believed to be derived from Old Norse word haugr meaning barrows. The site is in the care of Historic Scotland. Prehistoric Scotland § Farmers and monument builders Oldest buildings in Scotland List of the oldest buildings in the world Wickham-Jones, Caroline Orkney: A Historical Guide. Edinburgh. Birlinn. Scotland Before History - Stuart Piggott, ISBN 0-85224-348-0 Scotland's Hidden History - Ian Armit, Tempus ISBN 0-7486-6067-4 The Other Orkney Book - Gordon Thomson, ISBN 0-907200-00-1 "The Knap of Howar and the Origins of Geometry" - by Nicholas Cope & Keith Critchlow. ISBN 9780992682330 - www.ncope.co.uk Historic Environment Scotland.
"Knap of Howar,houses". Orkneyjar - The Knap o' Howar Knap of Howar, Papa Westray