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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.

Southern British decorated bronzes of the late pre-Roman Iron Age

Spratling, Mansel Gilwern January 1972 (has links)
This thesis is based on a study of more than 500 bronzes, described in a Catalogue, and mostly illustrated, of the late pre-Roman Iron Age from England and Wales south of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The classes of objects studied comprise: presumed and probable vehicle-fittings and horse-harness, weaponry, mirrors, vessels, 'spoons', weighing-devices, and miscellaneous other pieces including sheet mounts and ornamental studs. New classifications are proposed, and the presumed functions of the bronzes are discussed. An outline assessment is made of the techniques of manufacture, excluding data on chemical composition and physical structure. The most important technical innovations are indicated. The principles underlying the dating of the bronzes are examined, and it is concluded that previous chronologies have been over-precise, and that two phases may be discerned. Distribution-patterns are discussed; two major style-zones, a western and an eastern, are distinguished, and shown to have originated before the birth of Christ. Workshops are shown to have been located in most parts of southern Britain, C. Fox's model of workshop-distribution being rejected. Aspects of smith-organisation are considered, and directions for further research are suggested.

Idols in exile : making sense of prehistoric human pottery figurines from Dos Mosquises Island, Los Roques archipelago, Venezuela

Mackowiak de Antczak, Maria Magdalena January 2000 (has links)
This dissertation examines the `social reality' of the prehistoric figurines recovered on the tiny coral island of Dos Mosquises, located off the Venezuelan coast. There, over three hundred figurine specimens altogether with numerous other items of material culture were recovered by the author during systematic excavations. The site was interpreted as a temporary camp where Queen Conch (Strombus gigas), turtle, fish, birds and salt were processed/consumed, between ad. 1300 and 1500. The vast majority of the artefacts, including figurines, were not local products, but related to the Valencia culture from the north-central Venezuela mainland. In South America and the Caribbean, prehistoric figurines are traditionally approached as objects of ancient art or cult, or as typological devices. I reject both the a priori assumptions of figurine meaning/function that neglect the particular socio-historical contexts of their creation/use, and the epiphenomenological approach to these artefacts. Drawing from Social Theory, Material Culture Studies, Contextual Archaeology, Sociology of Knowledge and some traditional procedures of artefact analysis, I generate an `integrative' approach that combines analyses of the form (the object and its image), context (archaeological and social) and content (subject matter and signifying practice). In the analytical framework used in this dissertation, the figurine is regarded not as a mute product of a past culture, but as an `actor' that participated in the negotiation of complex social strategies in late prehistoric north Venezuela. The fact that the island figurines were produced on the mainland has direct influence on the structure of this research, demanding analysis of all available mainland material and its contexts. In consequence, `bricks' for the construction of the social reality of the Dos Mosquises figurines have been sought on the mainland. I interpret mainland specimens as metaphors of the social control of elder women over their younger female kin, as a strategy used in alliance building. The (re)constructed social context of the Dos Mosquises site suggests that it was largely occupied by adult and adolescent males. The confrontation of the archaeological and social contexts, types and images of mainland and island specimens, resulted in the disclosure of the polyvalent, context-dependent roles of the Valencioid figurines. Some of the island specimens indicate use in ritual activities and as burial furniture. Their social roles were essential to sustaining everyday life at the DM site by suppressing the threats of supernatural powers related to the marine environment and its creatures. Although specific interpretations are discussed in this study, its primary contribution lies rather in the methods developed to address questions regarding the social reality of prehistoric figurines. The emphasis is put on systematic and controlled ways of working `between or around data and theory', so that diverse sources of data can be put together to explore the meaningful connections that may link them within the overall humanistic approach. It is anticipated that the open-ended nature of this research will indicate paths for further inquiry and stimulate future research on the figurines and other material culture in north-central Venezuela.

Multivariate money : a statistical analysis of Roman Republican coin hoards with special reference to material from Romania

Lockyear, K. January 1996 (has links)
The aim of this thesis is assess the usefulness of the statistical analysis of coin hoards for the examination of aspects of ancient societies including coin use and exchange. Special attention was paid to various aspects of ‘formation processes.’ The thesis was divided into three parts. Part I — Background. This Part initially reviews the history of the project and then goes on to examine the concept of money in the light of anthropological and economic work. A brief discussion of types of exchange (gift, barter, commodity exchange) in societies is offered. The Part is concluded with a review of previous statistical analyses of coin assemblages. Part II—Analysing Hoards A large database of Roman Republican coin hoards was collected for this project. The problems with this type of data, its storage and retrieval are discussed. The database is then analysed in great detail in order to answer a series of numismatic, archaeological and statistical questions. Correspondence analysis was used on twenty-two subsets of the data to reveal patterning in the data-set which is discussed. A new variant of cluster analysis was developed to subdivide the data set whilst minimising the time series element. The results are compared to principal coordinates and detrended correspondence analyses. The analyses reveal aspects of the use and supply of Roman coinage over Europe and show clearly the unique nature of the Romanian data. An attempt is made to estimate the speed of circulation of coin in Italy. It is shown that the nature of coin supply leads to variation between periods which is the result of simple probability and sampling theory, not changes in the speed of circulation of coin as has been suggested by other authors. Simulation studies are used to examine the validity of estimates of coin production and annual coin loss. The results are summarised. The usefulness of the techniques used is discussed. In the light of the formation processes examined, the patterns in coin hoard data are tentatively interpreted. Part III — Romania. It is argued that to attempt a detailed interpretation of the patterns revealed above the material must be seen in its archaeological context. This case study is offered as one such attempt. Romania was chosen for two reasons: 1) the exceptional quantity of hoards found in an area outside Roman control; 2) the unique evidence for the copying of coins. After reviewing various aspects of Romanian archaeology, a detailed analysis of the problem of copies is offered including the results of a large scale archaeometallurgical study conducted under the direction of the author. Estimates of the quantities of coins copied are given. A brief review of the settlement evidence in the counties of Sibiu, Alba and Hunedoara, of special settlement and structure types, and of hoards of silverware is presented. The thesis concludes by discussing the nature of Dacian society and its use of coin in the light of the theoretical discussions in Part I, the evidence for coin supply discussed in Part II and the results of the analyses in Part III in the context of the wider archaeological evidence.

Early Islamic ceramics and glazes of Akhsiket, Uzbekistan

Henshaw, C. M. January 2010 (has links)
The thesis examines the technical aspects of ceramics and glazes from Akhsiket, a regional capital in the early Islamic period, which was abandoned in the early 13th century. Ceramics and glazes of the time period under discussion (9th - 13th century) in Uzbekistan are understudied, with minimal scientific analysis of the technological processes. These processes include the forming and firing of ceramic vessels, the origin of raw materials used in ceramics and glazes, and decoration methods such as slip painting and colored glazes. A variety of commonly-seen ceramic types have been studied, giving a well-rounded picture of the ceramic assemblage at Akhsiket. Comparison between ceramics from different sites in Uzbekistan, and the development of the technology over four centuries, is possible with the use of chemical and petrographical data obtained with a variety of scientific techniques - primarily the scanning electron microscope. Contemporary glazed ceramics from Kuva and Tashkent, both in Uzbekistan, were also examined for comparison, and to shed light on the transfer of technological and artistic techniques through Central Asia. Typological analysis of Islamic ceramics shows a progression of artistic and technological knowledge from the Middle East to Central Asia during the Arab expansion in the 8th – 9th centuries. Data from chemical and petrographical analysis has shown interesting similarities and differences between ceramic pastes and glazes used at Akhsiket, Kuva and Tashkent. These analyses are used as evidence for relationships in ceramic production and technology in Uzbekistan and by comparison with published data, to ceramics further afield. Along with providing a clearer picture of ceramic production in Uzbekistan, this work provides a new dimension to the discipline of Islamic ceramic studies, demonstrating the importance of archaeological ceramics of the eastern fringes to the understanding of the production of ceramics and the transmission of knowledge and cultural traditions within the Islamic caliphate.

Structuring the notion of 'ancient civilisation' through displays : semantic research on early to mid-nineteenth century British and American exhibitions of Mesoamerican cultures

Medina Gonzalez, E. I. January 2011 (has links)
This research focuses on studying the representation of the notion of ‘ancient civilisation’ in displays produced in Britain and the United States during the early to mid-nineteenth century, a period that some consider the beginning of scientific archaeology. The study is based on new theoretical ground, the Semantic Structural Model, which proposes that the function of an exhibition is the loading and unloading of an intelligible ‘system of ideas’, a process that allows the transaction of complex notions between the producer of the exhibit and its viewers. Based on semantic research, this investigation seeks to evaluate how the notion of ‘ancient civilisation’ was structured, articulated and transmitted through exhibition practices. To fulfil this aim, I first examine the way in which ideas about ‘ancientness’ and ‘cultural complexity’ were formulated in Western literature before the last third of the 1800s. This results in a basic conceptual structure about the notion of ‘ancient civilisation’, which is then analysed in relation to the representations formulated by eight displays on Mesoamerican objects, monuments, and people that date from the 1820s to 1870s, all which have been poorly studied up until now. This work is an original approximation of the history of Mesoamerican archaeology that concludes that early to mid-nineteenth century British and American exhibits structured some aspects of the notion of ‘ancient civilisation’ for the representation of Pre-Columbian cultures by articulating a language code composed of a set of conceptual traits. It also shows that the representation of the notion of ‘ancient civilisation’ through Mesoamerican exhibits was a complex, problematic and changing phenomenon. On one hand, it involved the use of visual, textual, spatial, object-based and performative display technologies and, on the other, the ideas articulated by the displays developed together with the theoretical, conceptual, informational, and socio-political transformations of the era.

Exploring places and landscapes of everyday experience in the Outer Hebridean Iron Age : a study of theory, method and application in experiential landscape archaeology

Rennell, R. January 2012 (has links)
This thesis explores aspects of everyday experience and the creation of place within the Iron Age island landscapes of the Outer Hebrides. While investigations of place and landscape, as experiential phenomena, are well developed in the context of Neolithic and Bronze Age research such approaches have been largely neglected within British Iron Age studies and in the study of the Outer Hebridean Iron Age more specifically. A hitherto focus upon ritual landscapes partly explains the lack of uptake within British Iron Age contexts more frequently defined by concepts of domesticity. The experience of place and landscape, however, are not only of significance within 'ritual' contexts but play an important role in the shaping of human action in the realm of the everyday. Instead, the principal barrier appears to be methodological - how does one go about investigating everyday experiences within prehistoric landscapes? A major component of this research has therefore been to explore and develop a methodology for this research. Current archaeological practice provides two contrasting methods for the study of landscape experience - one rooted in the analysis of field observations, inspired more directly by phenomenology, and the other via the application of GIS as a means of modeling landscapes from the perspective of human engagement. Despite much shared theoretical ground there remains little dialogue between practitioners of these respective approaches. It is proposed, however, that both approaches can make valued contributions to our understanding of the past and this thesis aims to contribute to an emerging discourse between what are commonly conceived as contradictory methods of enquiry. By exploring the character and diversity of island landscape settlement locales and the everyday experiences of Iron Age places this research offers an alternative framework for understanding the Iron Age societies of the Outer Hebrides.

The aesthetics of empire in Athens and Persia

Downes, S. E. January 2011 (has links)
This thesis is a comparative study of Persepolis and the Akropolis as monumental centres of empire. It considers the relationship between style and politics on the two sites, specifically, the extent to which stylistic variations can be explained by their capacity to promote different political effects. Starting from Gell’s proposition that ‘art is a system of action intended to change the world, rather than encode symbolic propositions about it,’ it examines the precise mechanisms, in particular the eliciting of cognitive or behavourial responses, by which the architecture and sculpture of the two sites have social consequences. It seeks to demonstrate a relationship between variations in the material traits of the sites and the political systems of the two states, defined both in terms of the autocratic/democratic distinction, but also the different structures of the two empires. The comparison of the two sites gives greater analytical security to the interpretation: they function as controls for each other. Each of the five chapters considers a different material aspect of the sites. The first chapter considers the spatial layout of the two sites; the second considers the function of the architectural sculpture of the two sites as decorative art; the third examines the sculpture as human images; the fourth considers the relationship between the iconography of the reliefs and the practice on the sites; the fifth looks at the construction of memory and time. In conclusion, common themes running through the chapters, such as control and legibility, are noted, and the extent to which they form a deliberate political programme is discussed.

Settlement patterns in Roman Galicia : late Iron Age-second century AD

Rees, J. W. January 2013 (has links)
This thesis examines the changes which occurred in the cultural landscapes of northwest Iberia, between the end of the Iron Age and the consolidation of the region by both the native elite and imperial authorities during the early Roman Empire. As a means to analyse the impact of Roman power on the native peoples of northwest Iberia five study areas in northern Portugal where chosen, which stretch from the mountainous region of Trás-os-Montes near the modern-day Spanish border, moving west to the Tâmega Valley and the Atlantic coastal area. The divergent physical environments, different social practices and political affinities which these diverse regions offer, coupled with differing levels of contact with the Roman world, form the basis for a comparative examination of the area. In seeking to analyse the transformations which took place between the Late pre-Roman Iron Age and the early Roman period historical, archaeological and anthropological approaches from within Iberian academia and beyond were analysed. From these debates, three key questions were formulated, focusing on the Late Iron Age settlement hierarchy, the impact of the administration of early Roman northwest Iberia on settlement patterns, and the relationship between the pre-Roman and Roman-period communication networks In addressing these issues through a series of landscape analyses, it was established that the so-called ‘Castro Culture’ of northwest Iberia was not homogonous, but structured according to diverse socio-political and environmental factors. In the early Roman period, a series of agricultural producers established themselves in fertile areas, resulting in settlement patterns which were located near communication routes and markets. Binding the landscape together were a series of central places, which were often adapted from pre-Roman settlements. Thus, the region’s pre-Roman identity coupled with Roman practices, created a series of fusions of cultural identity, but from an economic perspective shared many of the agricultural practices common in other parts of the Roman empire.

The use and meaning of light in ancient Mesopotamian cities

Shepperson, M. A. January 2012 (has links)
This thesis seeks to explore the relationship between society, culture and lived experience within Mesopotamian cities though the way in which sunlight is manipulated within the urban built environment. Light is approached as both a physical phenomenon, which affects comfort and the practical usability of space, and as a symbolic phenomenon rich in social and religious meaning. Analysing ancient Mesopotamian architecture, light is shown to have been selectively admitted, controlled or excluded from both internal and external space in deliberate and meaningful ways. Through the reconstruction of these ancient urban light environments, to the extent possible from the recovered architecture, questions of the location, timing and meaning of activities within these cities become accessible. Sunlight is demonstrated to contribute towards the formation, structure and symbolism of cities and their architecture. Beginning at the scale of cities within the sunlit landscape, the analysis is narrowed to consider city form as a whole, and finally to individual buildings; residential, sacred and palatial. Although this analysis is primarily architectural, it is complemented by extensive consideration of contemporary textual sources, as well as iconographic and artefactual evidence. The development of original methodologies for approaching lighting within archaeological contexts forms an integral part of this analysis. The cities under detailed examination are limited to those on the Mesopotamian plain, and the chronological focus ranges from the Early Dynastic periods up to the end of the second millennium BC. Examples from outside these limits are drawn upon when directly relevant. This research represents a novel approach to ancient architecture, demonstrating the utility of light as a tool with which to analyse, not just ancient Mesopotamian settlements, but the built environment of any past society. The influence of sunlight in shaping ancient Mesopotamian cities is shown to be powerful and diverse.

Cultural meanings and values of the past : a participatory approach to archaeology in the Atacameño Community of Peine, Chile

Kalazich, M. F. January 2013 (has links)
The following research aims to engage in an ethical and decolonised practice of archaeology in the Atacameño Community of Peine (II Region, Chile) through the use of Participatory Action Research (henceforth PAR), attempting to foreground the meanings and values of the past of the Peineños. This work departs from its allegiance/rejection to three interrelated issues: first, it constitutes a reaction to the colonial legacy of archaeology in general, and its conditions of production and reproduction in Chile in particular; second, it embraces the ‘reflexive turn’ in archaeology and the postcolonial critique to archaeological theory and practice; and third, it supports Indigenous peoples’ claims over their heritage, and the material and discursive re-appropriation of it, which is a part of larger movements of Indigenous peoples and incipient decolonisation processes worldwide. Thus, PAR was used as a decolonising methodology, which supposed the engagement with members of the Community of Peine in a process of negotiation, dialogue and decision-making from the beginning of the project. In this case, the elders of Peine set the objective of exploring the personal memories of Peineños through individual interviews, in order to account for the past of the Community. Through the use of narrative analysis, the memories of Peineños were grouped into ‘areas of memory’ following recurrent plots, namely territories and lifestyle, foodways, ceremonies, and climate change. Further, through Grounded Theory and the use of constructivist and performative perspectives, it was possible to establish the inextricable relationship between these areas of memory and group identity, establishing also a link to heritage. The findings point to an engagement with a specific past and identity in a current process of change. Its value lies precisely in its evanescent nature, the transformation of a way of living and a knowledge that was commonplace to many generations.

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