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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.
71

A contextual approach to the study of faunal assemblages from Lower and Middle Palaeolithic sites in the UK

Smith, G. M. January 2010 (has links)
This thesis represents a site-specific, holistic analysis of faunal assemblage formation at four key Palaeolithic sites (Boxgrove, Swanscombe, Hoxne and Lynford). Principally this research tests the a priori assumption that lithic tools and modified large to medium-sized fauna recovered from Pleistocene deposits represent a cultural accumulation and direct evidence of past hominin meat-procurement behaviour. Frequently, the association of lithics and modified fauna at a site has been used to support either active large-mammal hunting by hominins or a scavenging strategy. Hominin bone surface modification (cut marks, deliberate fracturing) highlight an input at the site but cannot be used in isolation from all other taphonomic modifiers as evidence for cultural accumulation. To understand the role of hominins in faunal assemblage accumulation all other taphonomic factors at a site must first be considered. A site-specific framework was established by using data on the depositional environment and palaeoecology. This provided a context for the primary zooarchaeological data (faunal material: all elements and bone surface modification) and helped explain the impact and importance of faunal accumulators and modifiers identified during analysis. This data was synthesized with information on predator and prey behavioural ecology to assess potential conflict and competition within the site palaeoenvironment. Results indicate that association of lithics and modified fauna are not sufficient evidence of a cultural accumulation; two sites (Swanscombe, Hoxne) demonstrate evidence of fluvial accumulation and disturbance. Whereas at Boxgrove, hominins had primary access to all fauna, fully exploiting carcasses. At Lynford, the mammoth remains were not modified by hominins, whilst other species only indicated exploitation for marrow, which conflicts with existing interpretations. I argue that hunting and scavenging are a continuum of behaviour, not necessarily represented at each site.
72

Dental morphological analysis of Roman era burials from the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt

Haddow, S. D. January 2012 (has links)
Ismant el-Kharab (ancient Kellis) is an archaeological site in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, which dates from the late Ptolemaic to the late Roman period. Previous studies of skeletal material from Kellis and other oasis sites suggest that the ancient population of the Dakhleh Oasis was largely homogenous and inbred as a result of geographic isolation. Archaeological and textual evidence however, indicates a record of contact with the Nile Valley and regions further afield since the Neolithic. In order to test these apparently conflicting narratives, descriptive and multivariate statistical methods are employed in an analysis of heritable dental morphological variants in 186 individuals from Kellis. Variation in dental morphological trait frequencies are commonly used in biological distance studies to assess phenetic relationships between groups. The present study has two main components: 1) an intra-cemetery assessment of inter-sex and inter-group morphological variation in order to identify related individuals within the Kellis 2 cemetery and provide evidence for post-marital residence patterns; and 2) an interregional comparison between the Kellis skeletal assemblage and groups from Egypt, Nubia, North and Sub-Saharan Africa in order to place the ancient Dakhleh Oasis population within a broader regional context. The results of the intra-cemetery analysis demonstrate low levels of inter-sex phenetic variation consistent with an isolated and possibly interbred population. Spatial analysis within the Kellis 2 cemetery has tentatively identified one area containing individuals with distinctive dental trait frequencies. This may indicate a kin-structured area of the cemetery, or alternatively, an area reserved for individuals who are not native to the Dakhleh Oasis. The results of the inter-regional comparison of trait frequencies demonstrate an overall affinity with North African populations, especially with several early Upper Egyptian and contemporary Lower Nubian groups. Despite these similarities, however, the Kellis assemblage remains relatively distinct in relation to the comparative groups. This is consistent with a geographically isolated population experiencing limited gene-flow.
73

The earliest high-fired glazed ceramics in China : scientific studies of the proto-porcelain from Zhejiang during the Shang and Zhou periods (c.1700-221 BC)

Yin, M. January 2012 (has links)
Proto-porcelain, a kind of high-fired lime-rich glazed ceramic, with maturing temperatures in excess of 1200 °C, began to appear in China during the Shang dynasty (c. 1700 to 1027 BC) and became more widespread during the subsequent Zhou dynasty (1027 to 221 BC). Since the 1950s, proto-porcelain has been unearthed from various tombs and sites across the country; most of them in mound tombs and kiln sites in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Bodies and glazes of 61 proto-porcelain sherds and 19 non proto-porcelain samples from Shang and Zhou periods production sites in Deqing, Zhejiang province were collected and later analysed by EPMA-WDS to understand the raw materials and to explore the mechanisms behind the formation of these glazes. The results indicate that the bodies of all samples were made from local raw material – porcelain stone. Wood ashes, high in lime and low in potash, were intentionally applied to the proto-porcelain samples, resulting in the formation of lime-rich glazes whose composition were determined by a temperature-controlled mechanism. In contrast, kiln fragments and furniture show a potash-rich fuel vapour glaze, which formed unintentionally during use of the kiln. The firing temperature for most of the proto-porcelain glazes is about the same as the maturing temperature for typical more recent lime glazes, showing that the potters were already at such an early time able to attain sufficiently high temperature in their kilns. The differences in firing temperature and composition underpin the suggestion that the Chinese lime-rich glazes are an independent invention. The glaze-forming process was later replicated in the lab to further test several possible parameters that would be necessary to control for the early potters when producing these glazes on a regular scale. The emergence of these earliest high-fired glazed ceramics has also been contextualised within north and south China during the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The environmental and technological constraints, economic and political organisations, together with religious and belief systems were also taken into consideration to better understand the impact of this innovation of the glazing and firing technology on the later development of Chinese ceramic production.
74

Gesso layers on Portuguese Baroque altarpieces : materials, practices and durability

Fernandes Pombo Cardoso, M. I. January 2010 (has links)
The surviving baroque gilded and polychrome wooden altarpieces in Portuguese churches offer an opportunity for the study of the relationship between historical documentary sources and physical evidence. This project involved four research elements. The first considered written documents surviving from the 17th and 18th centuries - ecclesiastical account books and contracts made between the Portuguese Church and the artists they employed. From these, detailed information was extracted about the materials used in the gesso grounds of the altarpieces. The second concentrated on extensive analysis of gesso grounds of gilded samples from those objects. The third concentrated on experimental work on gilded wood simulations which revealed physical and mechanical aspects of these gesso grounds. Finally, a comparison of these three elements, together with supplementary research on the trade, economy, geology and history of the period, and on the physical/mechanical behaviour of materials, has led to new understandings. This study aimed to shed light on such areas as the artists’ materials and practices, the relationship between artists and allied artisans, production and trade patterns of materials, the chemical meaning of the terms used historically, as well as important understanding of how the materials and practices employed in making the gesso grounds produced exceptionally durable gilded surfaces.
75

Reconciling living religious heritage with value-based management : the case of Mount Athos, Greece

Alexopoulos, G. January 2010 (has links)
The concept of community participation in values-based Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) has taken on a currency that increasingly raises the expectation for reconciling the gap between the values of heritage professionals and the local communities and empowering the latter in decision-making processes. The World Heritage Site of Mount Athos in Greece offers an excellent opportunity for a case study-based research that critically reflects on the complex processes that create tensions among stakeholders and allows for a discussion of the application and improvement of existing CHM decision-making models – particularly for places of living heritage value. Drawing on a variety of methodologies and sources this thesis explores the issues raised by the concept of heritage and the practice of CHM at a living religious heritage place of recognised international significance. More specifically local problems and solutions that are widely relevant to the international heritage discourse are investigated in three key areas of CHM: the legislative and administrative frameworks; the tension created by the conservation process with regard tangible and intangible perceptions of heritage; the display and accessibility of collections in the light of the perceived threats of overt museumification and touristification. Particular emphasis is placed on the subsequent decision-making conflicts between various stakeholders. Consequently the strengths and weaknesses of an international model for values-based CHM (Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter) and of an Australian model for engaging local communities (the ‘Ask First: A guide to respecting Indigenous heritage places and values’) are critically examined along with certain project management principles (namely the “Gateway Review Process”). The resulting analysis leads to a suggested planning process model for Athonite CHM which has wider implications for the management of living religious heritage and merits careful consideration for the achievement of wider stakeholder participation and active local community involvement in decision-making.
76

Medieval copper smelting in the Harz Mountains, Germany

Asmus, B. January 2011 (has links)
The Rammelsberg deposit in the Harz mountains in Germany is among the largest metal deposits in the world and has been in continuous use for more than a millennium. There is much controversy as to the nature of the metals produced and the processes involved from the ores of this deposit. This thesis deals with the largest and most accurately excavated smelting site of the high medieval period in the Harz mountains called Huneberg and may be regarded as typical for region and period. Traditionally historians connect the Rammelsberg with silver production, the mining historians, however point out that the deposit is too poor in silver and that copper was produced in the high medieval period. Modern economical literature classifies the Rammelsberg as a lead-zinc deposit. To contribute towards the understanding of these questions an archaeometric study of archaeometallurgic waste- and byproducts, such as slag, furnace lining, furnace wall, litharge and spilled metal drops was undertaken. It builds the base of the interpretation of the metallurgical activities that have taken place at the Huneberg and is contrasted with previous studies. It is suggested that copper, lead and silver in form of argentiferous lead were produced on site, using a complex multi-step process, taking full advantage of the numerous structural features of the site, e.g. the three furnaces present on the site. Successive smelting episodes produced black copper of increasing purity as well as a rather rich argentiferous lead. Because the site is similar to may other sites it is further suggested the mode of metal production at the Huneberg followed a more or less stringent set of recipes and traditions. The mass of 1600 kg slag recovered from the site suggest a copper production of some 600 kg or less, depending on the ore quality. Lead is thought to have been produced in similar quantities, which in turn would mean that the site produced also 1.4 kg of silver during its operation.
77

Human behaviour and the temporomandibular joint

Rando, C. J. January 2011 (has links)
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), an umbrella term referring to a group of orofacial pain disorders, including disc displacement and osteoarthritis, affect a significant portion of the general population, with prevalence of temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ OA) at around 30%. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is intimately linked to mastication (and as such, diet), with research on animals and modern clinical studies suggesting that disorders of the TMJ may be connected to soft dietary composition and associated with a reduction of the craniofacial complex. Over the past 100,000 years, the size and shape of the human face has undergone marked changes, from large and robust, to relatively small and gracile. Concordantly, human diet has changed profoundly, first in the transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture, then again in the shift to the post-industrialised diet, markedly affecting the rate of caries and malocclusions, which have increased, and dental wear, the severity of which has notably decreased. The question remains as to whether these dietary shifts, particularly modernisation, have had an effect on the temporomandibular joint. This work aims to combine archaeological, evolutionary and clinical perspectives to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact changes in human behaviour (primarily those related to diet) have had on the prevalence and distribution of temporomandibular joint disorders, specifically osteoarthritis. Three different skeletal populations (modern Americans, Medieval and post-Medieval Londoners and Prehistoric Native Americans) were examined for the severity of tooth wear, presence of TMJ osteoarthritis, morphology of the TMJ and tooth loss, as well as undergoing a metric and geometric morphometric analysis. The results suggest that differing patterns of subsistence can impact the distribution and frequency of TMJ OA, with rates of OA highest in the contemporary populations, this seeming to contradict previous archaeological theories on TMJ OA, which typically associated high levels of OA with heavy tooth wear and using the teeth as tools. The results of this research also suggest that different methodological approaches need to be used when analyzing TMJ OA, utilising diagnostic techniques that are more clinically relevant, in part due to the unique and complex nature of the TM joint.
78

Imperial structures and urban forms : a comparative study of capital cities in the Roman and Han empires

Razeto, A. January 2011 (has links)
This study focuses on the imperial capitals of Rome, Chang’an and Luoyang, during a period in which transformations of political institutions, imperial ideologies, and religious beliefs occurred on both sides of Eurasia. In the centuries between 210 BC and AD 220 Rome and China became the world’s largest agrarian states, and their capital cities were shaped for the first time to be symbols of the power of their imperial systems. The physical features of the capitals, more than any other urban centre, became integral components of the ideological, socio-political and cultural dynamics of the two empires, which they reflected through their design and location in the urban landscape. This thesis aims to further the understanding of the relationships between the cultural, political and social institutions and processes existing in the Han and Roman empires, and the physical structures and internal organization of their capital cities. It will apply a contextual, comparative methodology, specifically tailored to its scope and aims to the available historical and archaeological data relating to city planning principles and models, infrastructure, economic, and ritual architecture of the three capitals. The analysis of the material has been undertaken on the different but complementary levels of the specific monuments, the cities as whole units, and the imperial systems in which they were created. This research explores the extent to which the context-specific combination of a series of factors common to both empires, among them symbolism, practicalities, economy, religion and social status, drove the construction and transformation of the selected urban elements. Through a comparative analysis this study not only uncovers similarities and differences in the material structures of Rome, Chang’an and Luoyang, but it also highlights unique aspects of the relationship between imperialism and urban form that could not be detected by investigating each context in isolation.
79

Profane Egyptologists : the revival and reconstruction of Ancient Egyptian religion

Harrison, P. M. January 2012 (has links)
A range of culturally embedded interpretations and appropriations have left pharaonic Egypt at the centre of competing visions of its past. Despite the well-documented nature of Egypt’s broad perennial appeal, there is little analysis of the revival and reconstruction of pharaonic religion, which remains unrecognised by Egyptology, or conflated with ‘mystic’ ‘revisionist’ approaches. This doctoral research is undertaken in order to address critically this gap in Egyptological understanding of contemporary reception of pharaonic religion, challenge current conceptions of academic boundary marking, and interrogate notions of heritage and legacy that are framed within Western discourse on the ancient world. Employing a multi-sited ethnographic study, reflective of the medium of its participants, this work contributes an original database of over 40 actors (including key figures, such as temple founders and authors) located within the ‘Kemetic continuum’ of reconstructionist and revivalist practices. It critically examines responses, framing them within the contours of current Egyptological understanding, whilst remaining mindful of institutionalised positivist norms, and the hegemonic, reductionist exercise of applying theory ‘over’ findings. The project problematises current polarisations between ‘orthodox’ and ‘alternative’ approaches to Egyptian material, which were instead found to represent a continuum of responses from conservative attempts at ‘authenticity’ at one end, to less exclusive and more selective eclectic readings at the other. Curiously, when antagonising accusations of Egyptology’s own positivism, the discipline was found to be less defined, and less ‘conservative’ in its approaches to Egyptian religious material than currently conceived by ‘outsiders’ and the academy alike. Whilst it was noted that conceptions of Egyptology as a ‘hard’ positivist science are increasing, and likely inevitable, the valuable contributions from the phenomenological experiences of Kemetic practitioners are identified, where they nuance our understanding of key issues such as taboo, identity and piety through first-hand experience of agency.
80

And I called them Assyrians : an archaeological and archaeometric analysis of Neo-Assyrian Palace Ware

Hunt, A. M. January 2012 (has links)
My doctoral research is a synthetic archaeological and archaeometric analysis of Assyrian ‘Palace Ware’ to evaluate its social function and semiotic value throughout the Neo-Assyrian empire. Social function is elucidated through analysis of formal and fabric characteristics, informed by archaeological context. Social function is differentiated from practical function by referring to those characteristics, tangible or immaterial, which describe the relationship between the vessel and its cultural audience. Semiotic value is measured through the perpetuation or modification of Palace Ware’s social function, evidenced by changes in formal and fabric characteristics and archaeological context of ‘Palace Ware’ in Assyria proper and outside Neo-Assyrian provincial boundaries. Definitional criteria for Palace Ware are established using vessels from the Assyrian political core, Aššur, Nineveh, and Nimrud, through the statistical analysis of formal attribute measurements (morphometrics) and manufacture behaviours (chaîne opératoire) revealed using radiography, thin section and electron microscopy, and levigation and firing experiments. These criteria are used to evaluate ‘Palace Ware’ from Dur-Katlimmu and Guzana in Assyria proper and Tel Jemmeh in an unincorporated territory. Palace Ware ‘provenance’ using traditional methods, such as neutron activation analysis and ceramic petrology, is complicated by the extreme fineness of the fabric (< 2% inclusions in the fabric; inclusions ≤ 0.05mm). Cathodoluminescence spectroscopy and spectrometry of quartz inclusions is successfully developed as an alternative method for the geological grouping and provenance of archaeological ceramics. Palace Ware chaîne opératoire and provenance are used to differentiate the movement of vessels, technology and ideas, and potters throughout the Neo-Assyrian empire. My results indicate that Palace Ware was not traded but produced locally by local potters. The social function of the vessels, ritual drinking, is consistent throughout the empire, however its semiotic meaning alters from personal political loyalty to status symbol as we move farther away from the Neo-Assyrian imperial centre.

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