The terms anno Domini and before Christ are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means "in the year of the Lord", but is presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ"; this calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, BC denoting years before the start of the era. There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 follows the year 1 BC; this dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus of Scythia Minor, but was not used until after 800. The Gregorian calendar is the most used calendar in the world today. For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, adopted in the pragmatic interests of international communication and commercial integration, recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations.
Traditionally, English followed Latin usage by placing the "AD" abbreviation before the year number. However, BC is placed after the year number, which preserves syntactic order; the abbreviation is widely used after the number of a century or millennium, as in "fourth century AD" or "second millennium AD". Because BC is the English abbreviation for Before Christ, it is sometimes incorrectly concluded that AD means After Death, i.e. after the death of Jesus. However, this would mean that the approximate 33 years associated with the life of Jesus would neither be included in the BC nor the AD time scales. Terminology, viewed by some as being more neutral and inclusive of non-Christian people is to call this the Current or Common Era, with the preceding years referred to as Before the Common or Current Era. Astronomical year numbering and ISO 8601 avoid words or abbreviations related to Christianity, but use the same numbers for AD years; the Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus to enumerate the years in his Easter table.
His system was to replace the Diocletian era, used in an old Easter table because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. The last year of the old table, Diocletian 247, was followed by the first year of his table, AD 532; when he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by naming the consuls who held office that year—he himself stated that the "present year" was "the consulship of Probus Junior", 525 years "since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ". Thus Dionysius implied that Jesus' incarnation occurred 525 years earlier, without stating the specific year during which his birth or conception occurred. "However, nowhere in his exposition of his table does Dionysius relate his epoch to any other dating system, whether consulate, year of the world, or regnal year of Augustus. Among the sources of confusion are: In modern times, incarnation is synonymous with the conception, but some ancient writers, such as Bede, considered incarnation to be synonymous with the Nativity.
The civil or consular year began on 1 January but the Diocletian year began on 29 August. There were inaccuracies in the lists of consuls. There were confused summations of emperors' regnal years, it is not known. Two major theories are that Dionysius based his calculation on the Gospel of Luke, which states that Jesus was "about thirty years old" shortly after "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar", hence subtracted thirty years from that date, or that Dionysius counted back 532 years from the first year of his new table, it has been speculated by Georges Declercq that Dionysius' desire to replace Diocletian years with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ was intended to prevent people from believing the imminent end of the world. At the time, it was believed by some that the resurrection of the dead and end of the world would occur 500 years after the birth of Jesus; the old Anno Mundi calendar theoretically commenced with the creation of the world based on information in the Old Testament.
It was believed that, based on the Anno Mundi calendar, Jesus was born in the year 5500 with the year 6000 of the Anno Mundi calendar marking the end of the world. Anno Mundi 6000 was thus equated with the resurrection and the end of the world but this date had passed in the time of Dionysius; the Anglo-Saxon historian the Venerable Bede, familiar with the work of Dionysius Exiguus, used Anno Domini dating in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731. In this same history, he used another Latin term, ante vero incarnationis dominicae tempus anno sexagesimo, equivalent to the English "before Christ", to identify years before the first year of this era. Both Dionysius and Bede regarded Anno Domini as beginning at the incarnation of Jesus, but "the distinction between Incarnation and Nativity was not drawn until the late 9th century, when in some places the Incarnation epoch was identified with Christ's conception, i.e. the Annunciation on March 25". On the continent of Europe, Anno
Pitted Ware culture
For the North-East European culture of similar name, see Pit–Comb Ware culture. The Pitted Ware culture was a hunter-gatherer culture in southern Scandinavia along the coasts of Svealand, Götaland, Åland, north-eastern Denmark and southern Norway. Despite its Mesolithic economy, it is by convention classed as Neolithic, since it falls within the period in which farming reached Scandinavia, it was first contemporary and overlapping with the agricultural Funnelbeaker culture, with the agricultural Corded Ware culture. The economy was based on fishing and gathering of plants. Pitted Ware sites contain bones from elk, beaver, seal and pig. Pig bones found in large quantities on some Pitted Ware sites emanate from wild boar rather than domestic pigs. Seasonal migration was a feature of life, as with many other hunter-gatherer communities. Pitted Ware communities in Eastern Sweden spent most of the year at their main village on the coast, making seasonal forays inland to hunt for pigs and fur-bearing animals and to engage in exchange with farming communities in the interior.
This type of seasonal interaction may explain the unique Alvastra Pile Dwelling in south-western Östergötland, which belongs to the Pitted Ware culture as far as the pottery is concerned, but to the Funnelbeaker culture in tools and weapons. The repertoire of Pitted Ware tools varied from region to region. In part this variety reflected regional sources of raw materials; however the use of fish-hooks and nets and sinkers was widespread. Tanged arrow heads made from blades of flintstone are abundant on Scandinavia's west coast, were used in the hunting of marine mammals. One notable feature of the Pitted Ware Culture is the sheer quantity of shards of pottery on its sites; the culture has been named after the typical ornamentation of its pottery: horizontal rows of pits pressed into the body of the pot before firing. Though some vessels are flat-bottomed, others are round-based or pointed-based, which would facilitate stable positioning in the soil or on the hearth. In shape and decoration, this ceramic reflects influences from the Comb Ceramic culture of Finland and other parts of north-eastern Europe, established in the sixth and fifth millennia BC.
Small animal figurines were modelled out of clay, as well as bone. These are similar to the art of the Comb Ware culture. A large number of clay figurines have been found at Jettböle on the island of Åland, including some which combine seal and human features, its grave customs are not well known, but Västerbjers on the island of Gotland has produced a large number of grave fields, where the limestone has preserved the graves well. In these graves, archaeologists found skeletons laid on their backs with well-preserved tools in bone and horn. Numerous imported objects testify to good connections with the Scandinavian mainland and Germany. A theory among archaeologists was that the Pitted Ware culture evolved from the Funnelbeaker culture by a process of abandonment of farming for hunting and fishing; however the two populations are genetically distinct. The nineteen Pitted Ware samples from Gotland were dominated by mitochondrial DNA haplogroups U4, U5 and U5a although, because of the low resolution of the tests performed, some haplotypes reported as U4 may belong to haplogroup H.
By contrast the three Funnelbeaker samples from Gökhem contained no haplogroup U. This is consistent with findings elsewhere in northern Europe of a distinct difference in mtDNA between hunter-gatherers and farmers. Another hunter-gatherer of the Pitted Ware culture, dated to 2,900 to 2,600 BC, belonged to Y-Haplogroup I-M438. A low level of an allele associated with the ability to consume unprocessed milk at adulthood was found among Pitted Ware Culture individuals in Gotland, Sweden; this frequency is different from the extant Swedish population. As the language left no records, its linguistic affiliations are uncertain, it has been suggested that its people spoke a language related to the Uralic languages and provided the unique linguistic features discussed in the Germanic substrate hypothesis
In Old World archaeology, Mesolithic is the period between the Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic. The term Epipaleolithic is used synonymously for outside northern Europe, for the corresponding period in the Levant and Caucasus; the Mesolithic has different time spans in different parts of Eurasia. It refers to the final period of hunter-gatherer cultures in Europe and Western Asia, between the end of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Neolithic Revolution. In Europe it spans 15,000 to 5,000 BP; the term is less used of areas further east, not at all beyond Eurasia and North Africa. The type of culture associated with the Mesolithic varies between areas, but it is associated with a decline in the group hunting of large animals in favour of a broader hunter-gatherer way of life, the development of more sophisticated and smaller lithic tools and weapons than the heavy chipped equivalents typical of the Paleolithic. Depending on the region, some use of pottery and textiles may be found in sites allocated to the Mesolithic, but indications of agriculture are taken as marking transition into the Neolithic.
The more permanent settlements tend to be close to the sea or inland waters offering a good supply of food. Mesolithic societies are not seen as complex, burials are simple; the terms "Paleolithic" and "Neolithic" were introduced by John Lubbock in his work Pre-historic Times in 1865. The additional "Mesolithic" category was added as an intermediate category by Hodder Westropp in 1866. Westropp's suggestion was controversial. A British school led by John Evans denied any need for an intermediate: the ages blended together like the colors of a rainbow, he said. A European school led by Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet asserted that there was a gap between the earlier and later. Edouard Piette claimed to have filled the gap with his naming of the Azilian Culture. Knut Stjerna offered an alternative in the "Epipaleolithic", suggesting a final phase of the Paleolithic rather than an intermediate age in its own right inserted between the Paleolithic and Neolithic. By the time of Vere Gordon Childe's work, The Dawn of Europe, which affirms the Mesolithic, sufficient data had been collected to determine that a transitional period between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic was indeed a useful concept.
However, the terms "Mesolithic" and "Epipalaeolitic" remain in competition, with varying conventions of usage. In the archaeology of Northern Europe, for example for archaeological sites in Great Britain, Scandinavia and Russia, the term "Mesolithic" is always used. In the archaeology of other areas, the term "Epipaleolithic" may be preferred by most authors, or there may be divergences between authors over which term to use or what meaning to assign to each. In the New World, neither term is used. "Epipaleolithic" is sometimes used alongside "Mesolithic" for the final end of the Upper Paleolithic followed by the Mesolithic. As "Mesolithic" suggests an intermediate period, followed by the Neolithic, some authors prefer the term "Epipaleolithic" for hunter-gatherer cultures who are not succeeded by agricultural traditions, reserving "Mesolithic" for cultures who are succeeded by the Neolithic Revolution, such as the Natufian culture. Other authors use "Mesolithic" as a generic term for post-LGM hunter-gatherer cultures, whether they are transitional towards agriculture or not.
In addition, terminology appears to differ between archaeological sub-disciplines, with "Mesolithic" being used in European archaeology, while "Epipalaeolithic" is more common in Near Eastern archaeology. The Balkan Mesolithic begins around 15,000 years ago. In Western Europe, the Early Mesolithic, or Azilian, begins about 14,000 years ago, in the Franco-Cantabrian region of northern Spain and southern France. In other parts of Europe, the Mesolithic begins by 11,500 years ago, it ends with the introduction of farming, depending on the region between c. 8,500 and 5,500 years ago. Regions that experienced greater environmental effects as the last glacial period ended have a much more apparent Mesolithic era, lasting millennia. In northern Europe, for example, societies were able to live well on rich food supplies from the marshlands created by the warmer climate; such conditions produced distinctive human behaviors that are preserved in the material record, such as the Maglemosian and Azilian cultures.
Such conditions delayed the coming of the Neolithic until some 5,500 BP in northern Europe. The type of stone toolkit remains one of the most diagnostic features: the Mesolithic used a microlithic technology – composite devices manufactured with Mode V chipped stone tools, while the Paleolithic had utilized Modes I–IV. In some areas, such as Ireland, parts of Portugal, the Isle of Man and the Tyrrhenian Islands, a macrolithic technology was used in the Mesolithic. In the Neolithic, the microlithic technology was replaced by a macrolithic technology, with an increased use of polished stone tools such as stone axes. There is some evidence for the beginning of construction at sites with a ritual or astronomical significance, including Stonehenge, with a short row of large post holes aligned east-west, a possible "lunar calendar" at Warren Field in Scotland, with pits of post holes of varying sizes, thought to reflect the lunar phases. Both are dated to before c. 9,000 BP. As the "Neolithic package" (including farming, polished stone axes, timber longhouses and pot
The Hamangia culture is a Late Neolithic archaeological culture of Dobruja between the Danube and the Black Sea and Muntenia in the south. It is named after the site of Baia-Hamangia, discovered in 1952 along Golovița Lake; the Hamangia culture began around 5250/5200 BC and lasted until around 4550/4500 BC. It was absorbed by the expanding Boian culture in its transition towards the Gumelniţa, its cultural links with Anatolia suggest that it was the result of a settlement by people from Anatolia, unlike the neighbouring cultures, which appear descended from earlier Neolithic settlement. The Hamangia culture attracted and attracts the attention of many art historians because of its exceptional clay figures. Painted vessels with complex geometrical patterns based on spiral-motifs are typical; the shapes include: cylindric glasses. They are decorated with dots, staight parallel lines and zig-zags, which make Hamangia pottery original. Pottery figurines are extremely stylized and show standing naked faceless women with emphasized breasts and buttocks.
Two figurines known as "The Thinker" and "The Sitting woman" are considered masterpieces of Neolithic art. Settlements consist of rectangular houses with one or two rooms, built of wattle and daub, sometimes with stone foundations, they are arranged on a rectangular grid and may form small tells. Settlements are located along the coast, at the coast of lakes, on the lower and middle river-terraces, sometimes in caves. Crouched or extended inhumation in cemeteries. Grave-goods tend to be without pottery in Hamangia I. Grave-goods include flint, worked shells, bone tools and shell-ornaments; the Durankulak lake settlement commenced on a small island 7000 BC and around 4700/4600 BC the stone architecture was in general use and became a characteristic phenomenon, unique in Europe. Cernavodă, the necropolis where the famous statues “The Thinker” and “The Sitting Woman” were discovered The eponymous site of Baia-Hamangia, discovered in 1953 along Lake Golovița, close to the Black Sea coast, in the Romanian province of Dobrogea.
Cycladic art Varna culture Vinča culture Cucuteni-Trypillia culture Old Europe History of Bulgaria Prehistoric Romania Prehistoric art List of Stone Age art Media related to Hamangia culture at Wikimedia Commons