Prehistoric Britain
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Rotating the stone slightly reveals a flash of light of two otherwise hidden eyes which were manufactured by exposing the same plane of fracture of this pebble so light is reflected from both eyes at the same moment. Close up of the "hidden eyes" awaiting the observer's discovery when the stone is viewed while rotating in ambient light.

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The similarity of this and a lion's head ceramic figure to North American portable rock art figures implies a relatedness of the iconography across a long distance from Europe to America, perhaps supported by the "mammoth steppe hypothesis" of Richard Holen. Tira Vanichtheeranont collection, Bangkok, Thailand Tira thinks this is a mimetolith, or a rock that looks like something. Even though its find context has been lost it may be an example of a natural form which was found in prehistory and elaborated upon by a Stone Age artist. It seems some carving may have been made to separate the bird, to better define it, in relation to the "rock" it is sitting upon.

Even though the rock looks like a base for the bird sculpture, they are found or composed on the same piece of stone. This is the kind of object which the public needs to understand is important to archaeology so find locations are not lost because someone thinks it must be "just a rock. Here the origin of sculpture is described as follows: "Those who were inclined to express and represent They thereupon took thought and tried, by adding or taking away here and there, to render the resemblance complete.

Before long the primeval sculptors learned how to make images without depending on such resemblances latent in their raw material". This passage is the earliest statement of the idea that what sets the artist apart from the layman is not his manual skill but his ability to discover images in random shapes, i. Noted portable rock art investigator Jan van Es of Roermond, The Netherlands, writes: "Particularly people of the older stone-age traditions were handling the principle: nature shows and offers the basic forms or basic shapes. They acquired these forms to fix and perpetuate their "image-language" in typological iterations.

I do not come up with an idea and then sculpt it from a block. My ideas come from the natural shape and colors of each stone, whether I find a stone or purchase one from a stone vendor. Yes, there are vendors that seek quality and unusual stones from around the world for the sculpting trade. But, ouch … we pay by the pound! I just make what I see from found objects. The wood- the insects has already created what it is, and time. Time rots away a lot of wood, and inside that wood, these little people hide. I just go to them and find what I see and bring it out.

I think that God is the artist in my work. Such artistic centering of unique inclusions in the lithic material spans all-time, from the Lower Paleolithic to historical times. What meaning these "eyes" may have had remains elusive. Was it to bring the axe to life, to show off stone working skills or to amuse the maker? Only when archaeologists and collectors begin identifying possibly iconic tools like this and start comparing them and their find contexts, will we move toward being able to know what they mean.

Coschocton County, Ohio, Cactus Hill type point, dated by morphology to ca. Find by amateur archaeologist David King , Colne Valley, England, in a Lower Paleolithic tool context on the banks of the Pleistocene Thames River Interpretation of anthropomorphic head facing left split with a horned caprid head facing right by Ken Johnston.

It is as if the animal heads are joined at the nape of the neck, like in the two heads of Janus. They eyes are circled and the mouths are in red in the illustration above. The anthropomorph is depicted with its mouth wide open, perhaps as in a yell. The head of an Alpine Ibex approximates the animal head of the animal head being depicted on this sculpture. The company was in the process of bulldozing the side of a hill to make a house terrace. In the process they had uncovered a group of finely worked obsidian volcanic glass tools.

A workman had recognized the obsidian as something belonging to the time of his ancestors and rescued a large tool before it could be crushed by the bulldozer. Australian Archaeology Torrence, R. Stemmed tools, social interaction, and voyaging in early-mid Holocene Papua New Guinea. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 8: This masterpiece of nature, he said, was collected somewhere near the bank of river around Niagara Fall by the local Indians long time ago. So, I believe, this rock has particular meaning to the Indians.

Found objects like this deserve a close look to determine if they have been modified in the past. This piece seems a good candidate for an example of a "one eye open, other eye shut or missing" mask sculpture in the Lower-to-middle Paleolithic European motif, with distortion to the left side of the face as is seen in most other examples.

If the original archaeologist who collected this piece was aware of the common utilization of found natural forms as starting forms for art, and that this mask fits an already known and described motif, then he might have been able to contribute some more information about the context of this object or subject it to full petrology assessment of artificiality. Limestone bear head sculpture find and interpretation by Ken Johnston, from the shores of a former glacial swamp, now Buckeye Lake, Licking County, Ohio.

The bear is depicted with its nose up in the air, a recognition of its powerful sense of smell. The sculpture stands upright in this position on a flat base. It was found among dozens of other iconic rocks of chert and coarse stone, suggesting an unnatural pattern created by prehistoric human activity. This is a two-headed sculpture in this view with a bear head profile looking left and a human head profile looking right. The two-headed format has been traced to the Lower Paleolithic by early sculpture author Pietro Gaietto.

Even though it may seem ridiculously crude or meaningless to many, these are the expressions our ancestors left in stone and they are reproducible through many repeating examples. Close examination and consideration of all lithic materials from archaeological sites for iconic properties requires a revolution in the currently apathetic and dysfunctional approach of Archaeology toward lithics outside the already known tool taxonomies. Bear head sculpture side 2, nose sniffing the air Close up of the selected stone removal to create the eye, nose and mouth facial features of the bear head.

Ken Johnston find, Licking County, Ohio This iconic flint was found in a figurative flint and coarse stone context, the same as the limestone bear head in the prior posting. Interpreted as a human head profile by Ken Johnston. Also found nearby was a flint feline head looking left in similar format to this human face. Perhaps this was a tool with incorporated iconic properties, or perhaps it was a child's little puppet? From OriginsNet. Rijckholt, NL. Middle Palaeolithic.

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It represents clear testimony of power and Sullan ideology, dominating the spaces of traditional politics with immense force. Much attention has been given to the twelve villas that the emperor supposedly built, of which only a handful have been identified securely, but no major building phases have been attributed to a period later than the traditional Augustan-Tiberian phase. Furthermore, it continued to be exclusively associated with Tiberius by ancient scholars until as late as the fifth century. This article considers three particular cooking-ware forms, Hayes 23B, and Manufactured in northern Tunisia from as early as the Flavian period, they are by far the most common forms amongst the African finds on western mediterranean sites.

However, there are problems in interpreting the ways in which they were used. Here I suggest that the set represents a bain-marie with a lower vessel that would be half-filled with water; an upper one into which the food would be placed; and a lid. The origins of such vessels are discussed, as well as their role in cooking. This paper identifies a hitherto unrecognized reason for the increased imperial presence at Rome from the accession of Honorius in down to the assassination of Valentinian III in , in the form of the transformation of the imperial office itself, which was taking place across this period, as a result of the repeated accessions of child-emperors in the late Roman west.

The suggestion is made that the visual effects exhibited by the mosaic are instrumental in creating a particular relationship with the viewer in antiquity, in which the stars may have been viewed not only as a representation of the sky, but as a concrete manifestation of the radiant power of the saints in their intercessory role between earth and heaven. Warmundus, bishop of Ivrea in the latter half of the tenth century, is known for his wide-reaching achievements as a patron of both architecture and the illustrated book.

He was also a poet. The illustrations he chose for his Sacramentary reveal that in his old age his focus was on death, whether of the ordinary Christian, or of the martyrs of the faith. Two series of miniatures from the Sacramentary are without parallel among the surviving manuscripts of his day. All of these factors are examined in the context of the illustrations he chose for his manuscripts. His interests, as demonstrated in these illustrations, may well have been shared with other less well-documented bishops of his era, whose works have not survived.

It establishes beyond doubt that the column existed and that it was excavated from the seabed offshore from Misenum by Ludovico Montalto in the s. The authors discuss the possibilities that the column may have been part of a triumphal arch or a free-standing votive or honorific column of the type seen on the famous harbour landscape excavated at Stabiae, which probably represents Misenum. The Roman town of Falerii Novi and the pre-Roman Falerii Veteres are revisited through a combination of lidar airborne laser scanning and geophysical survey data in this paper.

The lidar survey provides detailed information on the topographically complex edges of these sites for the first time, and a number of new features are identified. Through these examples, the potential contributions made by lidar to our overall understanding of pre-Roman and Roman urbanism are considered. This article reassesses the work of M. Ponsich, published in , on the monumental centre of Lixus Morocco. He interpreted the structures found in the excavations begun by Tarradell in as a set of linked sanctuaries, principally of the Roman period.

This new examination of the preserved remains, together with more recent excavations, allows us to reassess this area of the site. It is possible to identify the remains of a large sanctuary of the Mauretanian period fourth—first centuries BCe , which includes temples, gardens and storehouses. In the period of Juba II 30—10 BCe a palace was constructed over the gardens, adjacent to the earlier temples. This residential complex had a Corinthian atrium and two peristyles.

It has been possible to identify also the oecus triclinaris, cryptoporticus, exedrae and halls. We propose that this palace is one of the residences of Juba II. An alternative reading of the pediment is proposed. The figures in question are re-identified as personifications of the Trojan Mount Ida and the Palatine Hill — important loci of worship in the east and the west, and symbols of the dual heritage shared by the Magna Mater, Rome and the princeps himself.

This article presents a previously unpublished Roman travertine relief showing scenes of breadmaking, currently in the restaurant Romolo in Trastevere in Rome. It presumably came originally from a tomb monument, possibly in the vicinity, and might be dated on grounds of material and style anywhere between the very late Republic and the Flavian period.

From left to right it shows two men delivering sacks of grain, a man loading grain into an animal-driven mill, three men kneading dough by hand, three more shaping loaves, and one putting loaves into the oven. The article discusses parallels in other reliefs of bakery scenes, and highlights the importance of this one for the evidence that it provides for the extent of the division of labour in a fairly large-scale bakery, in which the breadmaking process is divided into stages, each carried out by different groups of people.

Imperial coinage is generally recognized as one of the media used by the central administration to spread specific ideological messages, even though the extent to which specific messages could be understood across the wide spectrum of Roman society remains open to debate. Even more problematic is the question of whether specific coin types were chosen according to the different denominations precious versus base metal , thus taking into account the social and geographical background of the potential coin-users.

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This study investigates the possibility of audience targeting in Trajanic coins with architectural types of the mint of Rome and then compares these issues with similar coins minted under the Flavians and Hadrian. This report presents the results of excavations undertaken between and at the remarkable ruins known as Le Mura di Santo Stefano, situated near Anguillara Sabazia, just under 3 km south of Lake Bracciano.

The earliest phase of occupation concerned a first-century AD farm. Around AD a range of buildings was constructed, including a three-storey rectangular building lavishly decorated with nineteen types of marble, suggesting that the complex was a luxury retreat, possibly part of a latifundium. There is evidence for further activity in the third or early fourth century. In the ninth century, after a period of abandonment, part of the complex was converted into the church of Santo Stefano. The rectangular building was reoccupied and the remaining ruins used as a cemetery.

It is argued that the site may have functioned as the centre of a medieval estate, part of a papal domusculta, or alternatively as a fundus of a monastic establishment. In the eleventh century the site was deserted after the skeletal remains of a least 90 individuals, along with the bones of three dogs, were interred in a pit and capped with several pieces of Roman marble sculpture. The medieval wall paintings in Santa Maria in Pallara have received little scholarly attention, perhaps on account of uncertainty about their dating; there is no independent textual documentation for their production.

Traditionally dated to the tenth century, the paintings exhibit an iconography more common to twelfth- and thirteenth-century contexts, a representation of the Apostles seated on the shoulders of Prophets, which no doubt contributes to their neglect, since the later monuments are so well documented. However, the iconography derives from Roman traditions of church decoration, traditions that may be utilized in an analysis of the paintings in order to arrive at an independent dating based on their form and content alone.

Following a methodology developed by John Osborne for dating undocumented medieval wall paintings in Rome, this article analyzes the objective dating criteria of the Santa Maria in Pallara paintings; namely, these criteria are physical setting, function, subject matter, inscriptions and pictorial technique.

Such analyses suggest that a tenth-century date is suitable for the paintings, which are well categorized in the history of Roman pictorial technique between securely dated ninth-century monuments and those dated to the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The quantity of government in Rome and the role of the pope and his officials in it increased rapidly during the sixteenth century.

It concludes that this expansion was not the result of deliberate centralization or rationalization by sixteenth-century popes, but that different groups within Roman society exploited the idea of papal authority to advance their own interests and encourage political stability. Designed for the Sacchetti family by Pietro da Cortona, it was one of a limited number of his architectural projects to be built.

In the villa was believed lost, and so a project was devised to locate and explore the material remains; and in we partially excavated the villa and subsequently published an excavation report published in Papers of the British School at Rome 68 Without any doubt, this book makes a major contribution to the architectural literature of the Roman Baroque.

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It includes a chapter on the Villa Pigneto Sacchetti, which takes issue with some of our findings. This article addresses several points raised about our work, and offers a reinterpretation of the building history of the villa that aims to reconcile the divergent opinions and incorporate advances in scholarship since This gazette aims to present to a readership outside Rome a newsletter of recent archaeological activity chiefly for , although also early gleaned from public lectures, conferences, exhibitions and newspaper reports.

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Legacies Donor Charter Sunday 30 June Search for:. Papers of the British School at Rome. I also shed new light on the area of the circus from the late Republican period to late antiquity and on transverse cella temples. This report details the survey, excavations and materials analysis carried out at Case Nuove GR in Tuscany, a site identified by surface survey as a possible rural house, but which excavation and materials analysis suggest was a small-scale agro-processing point of late Republican date. Through accompanying analysis of pollen and land-use data, the article considers the problems this type of site — the stand-alone agro-processing point — presents for interpretations of the Roman landscape.

Four field seasons of survey work at these cities have documented 49 bars at Pompeii and eight at Herculaneum with over 8, pieces of stone, mainly marble. This paper discusses the results of this project: first, the types of stone used on these bars and how they were displayed; second, what their quantities and distribution, within these cities and on individual bars, reveal about the pervasiveness of the wider pan-Mediterranean marble trade; third, what we can say about where these materials came from and how they were acquired, and what this in turn reveals about the economics of re-use of architectural materials in the Vesuvian cities.

Given that few ancient accounts of the reign of Antoninus Pius survive from antiquity, other monuments, in particular coinage, become important in reconstructing his reign. The liberalitas and Britannia series of Pius are explored in depth. Throughout the Mediterranean the study of the destruction, reuse, moving and preservation of statues has provided a window onto the transformation of Rome during a time of ascendant Christianity.

The preservation of statuary collections is increasingly important in this regard. All were well preserved, and several were found in the open spaces of the sanctuary. Together they span years of history, stretching into the late fourth century. Unfortunately, the late antique significance of this group has never been acknowledged. This paper situates that collection within the social world of late antique Ostia, where many statues of both sacred and non-sacred subjects remained on display. More than a century after the praetorian prefect of Italy, Junius Bassus, founded the basilica in , a Goth named Valila, belonging to the senatorial aristocracy, bequeathed the structure to Pope Simplicius — Herculaneum from the AD 79 eruption to the medieval period: analysis of the documentary, iconographic and archaeological sources, with new data on the beginning of exploration at the ancient town.

This article, divided into two main parts, first analyses the archaeological data for a return to the site of Herculaneum after its destruction in the AD 79 eruption.

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The evidence includes a necropolis above the Roman town, along with burials and other finds in the Herculaneum area up to the late antique period. The second part looks at how the medieval settlement of Resina grew up over ancient Herculaneum and how new archaeological research has demonstrated that tunnelling was already being carried out to retrieve marble and building materials from the Roman town in the fourteenth century.

Ultimately, the non-archaeological data are inconclusive, and the material evidence seems to affirm an early phase sixth century BC focused on individual hilltops, rather than encompassing all hills within a full course. Following this logic, I continue to question the presence of a unified circuit wall at Rome prior to the mid-Republic fourth century BC. A concluding section reviews the historical circumstances in support of this view.

Thus the emblema serves as a meditation on the fates of Antony and Cleopatra VII, descendants of Heracles who chose the path of vice, a choice that resulted in their defeat by Octavian at the Battle of Actium. Since this marble was used mostly by Aphrodisian artists, this finding confirms, on the basis of scientific data, previous hypotheses on the origin of the sculptors who manufactured the statues.

Present knowledge of the history of the quarries and the distribution of their marbles seems to rule out the possibility that the sculptures date from the late Republican period and strongly support the opinion, previously proposed on stylistic grounds, that they were manufactured in Rome by Aphrodisian sculptors probably during the first half of the second century ad. This article considers a group of inscriptions, ranging in date from the late second to late third centuries ad, which indicates that low-ranked members of the Roman army gained access to equestrian rank in this period.

These developments represent a marked departure from the circumstances that prevailed in the early Empire, when equestrian rank could be bestowed only by the emperor on men who possessed a census qualification of , sesterces. The widening of access to equestrian rank within the Roman army contributed to the devaluation of this status over the course of the third century AD.

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Thanks again Judge Judy. Roman literature was from its very inception influenced heavily by Greek authors. In the final episode of the series, Anita Rani investigates the tsunami of single-use plastic that parents pick up in the form of give-away toys. Hoskins can only weakly say:. When the Batavi, Heruli, Jovii, and Victores, who followed him, had arrived, troops confident in their strength, he began his march and came to the old town of Lundinium, which later times called Augusta. Veterans of various conflicts reveal some universal truths of combat with unflinching candor.

This article considers the writings of Saint Jerome as a source for writing a cultural history of the city of Rome in late antiquity. Jerome is of course, in many respects, an unreliable witness but his lively and often conflicted accounts of the city do none the less provide significant insights into the city during an age of transition. He provides a few snippets for the scholar of topography, but these do not constitute the main attraction. This article re-examines the topography of the late eighth-century monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno following a recent far-reaching reinterpretation of the ninth-century phases of the monastery.

As a result, it suggests the outlines of the first claustral plan for the monastery. How were seigniorial territories organized from an institutional point of view? How did the lords manage the adjustments and changes occurring in their lordships due to inheritance, purchases and sales of seigniorial rights? How was that framework connected to the institutional organization of rural communities? Who were the men who administered those lordships and how long did the connection between the families of those officials and the lords last?

These are the questions I have tried to answer through the study of deeds recorded in charters and notarial registers regarding the Guidi counts, a family belonging to the upper aristocracy of north-central Italy. This study focuses on institutional matters, but in the section devoted to the relations between lords and seigniorial officials a prosopographical approach is adopted. The dynamics investigated in this study were fundamental in the historical evolution of the north-central Italian countryside, and their analysis provides useful material for further comparison with analogous phenomena in other parts of Europe.

Fragments of frescoes were found in the late nineteenth century on the medieval apse wall, hidden behind the fifteenth-century chancel, of the Dominican nunnery church of San Sisto Vecchio, Rome. They were painted in two phases, one in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century, the other approximately a century later. When they were restored in —2, two new scenes came to light. This paper reconsiders the murals of both phases, including the images uncovered during the restoration campaigns.

Historical evidence shines new light on the medieval patrons of the nunnery, who were relatives of individual nuns, and reveals the social context in which buildings and paintings were provided for the convent. It is argued that the frescoes were designed for the Dominican nuns, whose religious ideals are reflected in their iconography.

Up until now studies of these murals have not paid much attention to their socio-historical importance, nor the Dominican significance of the images, even in two scenes from the life of Saint Catherine of Siena. Panvinio built on the work of predecessors, most notably Pirro Ligorio, to produce a densely-detailed image of the triumphal procession in the style of Roman bas-reliefs, using the evidence of coins, friezes and texts.

This illustration can be seen as an alternative historical rendition, rather than as an accompaniment to a textual description of the triumph. More generally, it reveals the creativity of Renaissance antiquarianism, a movement usually seen as devoted to the dry accumulation of evidence about antiquity, not its imaginative interpretation.

The frontier between Gubbio ancient Umbria and Perugia ancient Etruria , in the northeast part of the modern region of Umbria, was founded in the late sixth century BC. The frontier endured in different forms, most notably in the late antique and medieval periods, as well as fleetingly in , and is fossilized today in the local government boundaries.

Archaeological, documentary and philological evidence are brought together to investigate different scales of time that vary from millennia to single days in the representation of a frontier that captured a watershed of geological origins. The foundation of the frontier appears to have been a product of the active agency of the Etruscans, who projected new settlements across the Tiber in the course of the sixth century BC, protected at the outer limit of their territory by the naturally defended farmstead of Col di Marzo.

The immediate environs of the ancient abbey of Montelabate have been studied intensively by targeted, systematic and geophysical survey in conjunction with excavation, work that is still in progress. An overview of the development of the frontier is presented here, employing the data currently available. In , the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies achieved its centenary.

In , the British School at Rome, which was closely linked to the origins of the Roman Society, celebrates the centenary of its Royal Charter. This marked the formal establishment of the distinctively broad and interdisciplinary remit of the BSR by the inclusion of humanities, art and architecture in a single institution. The combination of these two anniversaries has given rise to this attempt to think through some of the paths that Roman studies have taken, and to understand them within the context of broader developments in particularly British and Italian historiography.

The Roman Society and the British School at Rome have many points of connection, both in terms of individuals and in terms of research interest. Recent work on the development of a British historical tradition has shown that it remains important to ground the reading of historical scholarship within the intellectual trajectory of its practitioners. In spite of the topical character of fat in 21st-century sociology, anthropology and medical science, obesity and emaciation in the ancient world remain almost completely unexplored.

This article sets out to examine the relationship of fat and thin bodies to power, wealth, character and behaviour, and seeks to identify patterns and continuities in the iconography of fleshiness and slenderness across a stretch of several hundred years. Such bodies could be evaluated in a number of different ways, and this article exposes the diverse — and sometimes contradictory — responses to body fat in the art and culture of the Roman world. This article contains five notes on Roman topography. What the passages in question do not show is how the Romans worked these or other slaves.

Begun in , the Roman Peasant Project was designed to excavate the smallest sites found in field survey and to analyse the diet, economies, land use and landscapes of the Roman peasant. This paper explores the ceramic assemblage of the Nepi Survey Project from the third century BC to the seventh century ad. The surface collection allows the detailed characterization of chronology, ware, fabric supply and functional characteristics.

The assemblage shows a settlement explosion in the early second century BC, with another major rise from the Augustan period. The sharp decline in the late second to early third centuries AD is visible here, as it is throughout the region. The later peaks of the late fourth to mid-fifth and the mid-sixth centuries AD conform to the late Roman sequence from Mola di Monte Gelato.

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The distribution of the different fabrics, including some of regional supply, suggests a number of different marketing mechanisms. The most important supply originated from North Africa, with fish sauce as the main import. The functional analysis allows the definition of a ritual structure in the proximity of the cemeteries of the Massa area with highly varied types related to eating and drinking.

The ceramic building material shows the importance of Campanian contacts although the lack of imbrices suggests that many tile scatters derive from reused material. Coinage remains one of the best resources from which to gain an insight into the public image of empresses in the Roman Empire. This article employs a quantitative approach to the coinage of the Severan women, utilizing coin hoards to gain an idea of the frequency of particular coin types.

The result offers a nuanced and contextual assessment of the differing public images of the Severan empresses and their role within wider Severan ideology. Evidence is presented to suggest that in this period there was one workshop at the mint dedicated to striking coins for the empresses. The Severan women played a key connective role in the dynasty, a position communicated publicly through their respective numismatic images. By examining the dynasty as a whole, subtle changes in image from empress to empress and from reign to reign can be identified.

During the reign of Elagabalus, the divergence in imagery between Julia Soaemias and Julia Maesa is so great that we can perhaps see the influence of these women on their own numismatic image. The first is an eye-witness account of a celebration mounted in Piazza Navona in Rome to mark the defeat of the Turks at Belgrade in ; the second is an imaginative recreation of the horse race at the Equirria, as Biondo envisions it taking place in the streetscape of ancient Rome. In this aspect too he was a powerful model for later antiquarian writing.