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Technology

(2,746 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin)
[German version] I. Definition of technology Technology describes the ensemble of tools, devices and procedures used for the acquisition and transformation of materials, the production and transportation of foodstuffs and consumables, the erection of structures, the provision of infrastructure, and the storage of information. The devices and procedures employed in different areas of technology are not independent of one another; rather, they constitute a technological complex with many interdependenci…

Winch

(636 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | M.PU.
Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) [German version] I. The Ancient Orient The winch, as a mechanical device for moving and lifting or lowering objects, is not attested archaeologically in Egypt nor in the Ancient Near East. However, its functional components, the spool with protruding crank arm (handspikes) for the application of muscle power (horizontal spool = reel, vertical spool = windlass), the pulley for transferring or diverting the applied force, the rope/hawser with the drum for winding and unwinding it, …

Ivory carvings

(904 words)

Author(s): Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
[German version] I. Middle East and Phoenicia Ivory, i.e. tusks of the boar, the hippopotamus and particularly the (African as well as Asian)  elephant, was extremely popular from the Neolithic period onwards as a material in ‘craftwork’. In the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age, the important workshops of the Syrian-Phoenician coastal towns and also of Egypt developed styles that were recognizably their own. Ivory carvings (IC) were widespread through intensive trade and almost always formed part of t…

Glass

(1,832 words)

Author(s): Platz-Horster, Gertrud (Berlin) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
(ὕαλος; hýalos or ὕελος; hýelos, vitrum) [German version] I. Methods of Glass Production Glass is a mixture of silicic acid (silicon dioxide, quartz or quartz sand) and alkali (soda, sodium bicarbonate or potash) as flux [2; 7; 8]. Since it was apparently unknown in antiquity that alkali makes the mixture water-soluble, only glass with sufficient lime to neutralize this reaction is preserved. Producers of raw glass (ὑελέψης; hyelépsēs or ὑαλοψός; hyalopsós) knew from experience which sand (ψάμμος ὑαλικός; psámmos hyalikós) or which calcareous plant ashes made the glass durable. Up i…

Sculpting, technique of

(1,584 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
[German version] I. Near East The oldest examples of a developed sculptural technique in stone from the Ancient Near East are from the later 4th millennium BC (Uruk). The most important genres of monuments are free-standing sculpture and relief (stele, rock reliefs, orthostats, obelisks). The material was worked with metal tools and probably hard stone tools. Traces of tools are rarely preserved due to smoothing and polishing of the surface with abrasives. Surfaces could be shaped through the incisio…

Iron

(2,559 words)

Author(s): Riederer, Josef (Berlin) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin)
[German version] A.1 Iron and Iron Ores Since iron does not naturally occur in usable concentrations, it must be obtained by smelting iron ores. Previously, meteorite iron was occasionally worked to make tools and weapons. Iron obtained by smelting is differentiated with certainty from meteorite iron by its nickel content: meteorite iron usually has more than 5% nickel (values up to 10% are normal) while iron extracted from ores usually has less than 0.5% nickel. Various types of naturally occurring ir…

Tin

(1,194 words)

Author(s): Riederer, Josef (Berlin) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin)
[German version] I. Definition Tin is a metal, used in Antiquity for casting, for making sheet-metal, for plating other materials, for alloys, primarily with copper to make bronze or with lead to make tin-lead solder. The starting material was cassiterite, the only tin ore that occurs naturally in sufficient quantities for metallurgical processing. Cassiterite, an oxide of tin (SnO2), is dark brown to black in colour, has a high density (6800-7100 kg m-3) and is very hard (6-7), characteristics which must have immediately attracted attention when ores were being so…

Intarsia

(538 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In Middle Eastern archaeology intarsia is the term for the laying of decorative elements of different materials onto or into a substratum. To achieve better colour contrasts, combinations of different materials, especially coloured stones, shells, bones, ivory, metals, ceramics, glass and silicate were used; the most common substrata were stone, metal, wood and clay/ceramics. The binder was usually bitumen. The oldest examples of intarsia were found in the preceramic Neolithic of Palestine ( c. 8000 BC; e.g. gypsum-coated human skulls wi…

Elektron

(279 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] I. Middle East Elektron as a natural alloy of gold and silver that was mostly worked as found in the Middle East and Egypt. According to analysis, objects seemingly consisting of gold usually contain a large amount of silver, which may constitute more than 40% (e.g., vessels from the royal graves of Ur, c. 2600 BC). Later, elektron was also artificially produced as an alloy. Elektron is harder than gold and, therefore, was preferred for jewellery, display weapons, statues, plating, inlays and units of value (e.g., as rings).  Gold;  Amber Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) Bibliogr…

Tools

(1,441 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Onken, Björn (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East and Egypt The tools of the Near Eastern cultures and Egypt comprised the most important types still used in similar designs and functions today. The use of natural objects as tools and their adaptation in order to improve their properties dates back to the Palaeolithic period (e.g. stone tools with various basic functions; increasing differentiation in relation to the qualities for particular usages). Improvements were made in handling (grip, mounting, shafts), the systematic exploitation of mechanical principles, e.g. axial mounting ( tournet…

Sickle

(355 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Ruffing, Kai (Münster)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt The sickle is a classic harvesting tool with a largely unaltered basic form: a curved blade with its edge on the inside, made of wood, ceramic, copper/bronze or iron. The earliest evidence of sickles in Egypt and the Near East is from the 8th/7th millennia BC: flint or obsidian blades with traces of use on one side (bright 'polish') and remains of bitumen on the end with which the blades were fixed to the inner side of a curved piece of wood, less often to a…

Toreutics

(1,585 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
(τορευτικὴ τέχνη/ toreutikḕ téchnē; Lat. caelatura; literally 'chiseling', from τορεύς/ toreús, Lat. caelum, 'chisel') denotes the chasing and repoussé work of thin plates of metal, or else works in which chasing is combined with repoussé work to design relief work; repoussé work may be replaced by casts. [German version] I. The Ancient Orient and Egypt Toreutics designates primarily the productive technique by which metals (gold/electrum, silver, copper/bronze, lead, iron) were shaped in a cold state. The objects (plaques), usually thin, were forme…

Metallurgy

(2,957 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Giesen, Katharina (Tübingen) | Kohler, Christoph (Bad Krozingen) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
I. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Metal extraction Metals are extracted from ores (smelting). Precious metals: gold, silver, elektron; base metals: copper, tin, lead, iron. The beginnings of metallurgy can be found in mineralogically favourable regions, particularly near the (copper-)ore deposits of Anatolia. Elements of pyrotechnology have been identified in aceramic neolithic settlements of the early 7th millennium BC, in particular products of metallurgy based on the smelting of copper ore. The…

Bernstein

(594 words)

Author(s): Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[English version] I. Allgemein Das fossile Harz von Coniferen, das dt. nach seiner Brennbarkeit oder als Succinit bezeichnet wird. Die magnetische Anziehungskraft des B. ist schon Thales bekannt (A 1,24 und A 3 DK); aus dem griech. Namen ἤλεκτρον ist der mod. Begriff “Elektrizität” abgeleitet. B. wird bei Aristoteles (z.B. met. 4,10,388b19ff.) und Theophrast (h. plant. 9,18,2; lapid. 3,16; 5,28 und 29 [2]) erwähnt, sowie als sucinum bei Tacitus (Germ. 45). Plinius (ital. thium, german. glaesum: nat. 37,31-46) charakterisiert B. als defluens medulla pinei generis arboribus (‘von …

Bildhauertechnik

(1,325 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Neudecker, Richard (Rom)
[English version] I. Vorderer Orient Älteste Beispiele einer entwickelten B. in Stein kennt der Alte Orient aus dem späteren 4. Jt.v.Chr. (Uruk). Die wichtigsten Denkmälergattungen sind Rundplastik und Relief (Stelen, Felsreliefs, Orthostaten, Obelisken). Zur Bearbeitung wurden Werkzeuge aus Metall, wahrscheinlich auch aus Hartgestein benutzt. Werkzeugspuren sind wegen der Glättung und Polierung der Oberfläche mit Schleifmitteln nur selten erhalten. Die Oberflächen konnten durch Einritzungen von Deta…

Elfenbeinschnitzerei

(786 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Neudecker, Richard (Rom)
[English version] I. Vorderer Orient und Phönikien Elfenbein, d.h. Zähne von Wildschwein, Flußpferd und vor allem (afrikan. sowie asiat.) Elefant, war seit dem Neolithikum in der “Kleinkunst” als Werkstoff hochbeliebt. In der Br.- und frühen Eisenzeit entwickelten sich die bed. Werkstätten der syr.-phönik. Küstenstädte und daneben Ägyptens erkennbar eigene Stile. E.n fanden durch intensiven Handel weiteste Verbreitung und gehören fast regelmäßig zu den Tributen für die assyr. Könige. Das Repertoire umf…

Gold

(3,039 words)

Author(s): Riederer, Josef (Berlin) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
I. Allgemeines [English version] A. Gold und Goldvorkommen G. ist ein weiches, mechanisch gut zu verformendes und somit einfach zu Blechen und Drähten zu verarbeitendes Edelmetall, hat aber mit 1063°C einen relativ hohen Schmelzpunkt, der das Gießen erschwert. Es kommt in der Natur relativ selten vor, und zwar in Form von G.-Aggregaten im festen Gestein, aus dem es mit bergmännischen Methoden gewonnen wird, oder in Form von G.-Flittern oder -Körnern in sandigen Ablagerungen verwitterter Primärgesteine, …

Glas

(1,571 words)

Author(s): Platz-Horster, Gertrud (Berlin) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
(ὕαλος oder ὕελος, vitrum) [English version] I. Methoden der Glasherstellung G. ist ein Gemisch aus Kieselsäure (Siliciumdioxid, Quarz oder Quarzsand) und Alkali (Soda, Natron oder Pottasche) als Flußmittel [2; 7; 8]. Da in der Ant. offenbar unbekannt war, daß Alkali das Gemenge wasserlöslich macht, ist nur G. mit genügend Kalk erhalten, der diese Reaktion aufhebt. Hersteller von Rohglas (ὑελέψης oder ὑαλοψός) wußten aus Erfahrung, welcher Sand (ψάμμος ὑαλικός) oder welche kalkhaltige Pflanzenasche das G. dauerhaft machte. Rohglas wurde bis in röm. Zeit nur in wenigen s…

Lapis lazuli

(356 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg)
[English version] (Sumer. iagin > akkad. uqnû > griech. κύανος > lat. cyanus; äg. ḫsbḏ). Der Lasurstein ist ein kompliziertes Silikat, das mit dem künstlichen Ultramarin verwandt ist. Er zeichnet sich durch mehr oder weniger tiefblaue Farbe, oft mit goldgelben Einsprengseln von Eisenpyrit, aus. L. wurde im heutigen Afghanistan/Prov. Badaḫšān bzw. im afghanisch-pakistanischen Grenzgebiet (Quetta) gewonnen und gelangte von dort nach Vorderasien sowie über den Sinai nach Äg. Verhandelt wurde L. unbearbeitet, get…

Intarsien

(495 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Als I. bezeichnet man in der Vorderasiatischen Arch. die Auf- oder Einlage von dekorativen Elementen aus unterschiedlichen Materialien auf bzw. in einem Trägermaterial. Um bes. Farbkonstraste zu erzielen, wurden Kombinationen unterschiedlicher Stoffe, insbes. farbige Steine, Weichtiergehäuse, Knochen, Elfenbein, Metalle, Keramik, Glas und Kieselkeramik genutzt; die häufigsten Trägermaterialien waren Stein, Metall, Holz und Ton/Keramik. Als Bindemittel diente zumeist …
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