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Town, city

(4,219 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Kolb, Frank (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Definition 'Town' and 'city' in modern parlance have become general terms to describe settlements of a particular size, with a particular complement of buildings and administrative and legal structure. Owing, however, to the manifold forms assumed by towns and cities, we lack a specific, all-embracing definition: criteria such as a closed built environment, a highly evolved division of labour, and central administrative and economic functions for the surrounding territory, have p…

Weapons

(2,508 words)

Author(s): Hausleiter, Arnulf (Berlin) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Blech, Michael (Madrid) | Kohler, Christoph (Bad Krozingen) | Et al.
[German version] I. Ancient Near East and Egypt Weapons were among the earliest artefacts fashioned by humans and their ancestors. Stone arrowheads and blades were the first recognizable weapons in the ancient Near East into the Neolithic Period ( c. 10000 BC). From the 4th millennium BC, weapons were depicted on roll seals and stelae in scenes of warfare or hunting. Of maces suitable for close combat, generally only the heads (of stone or metal) survive. One exception is the deposit at the Chalcolithic find site of Naḥal Mišmār in P…

Necropoleis

(7,045 words)

Author(s): Tsochos, Charalampos (Erfurt) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Genz, Hermann (Istanbul) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Et al.
[German version] I. Introduction The Greek word νεκρόπολις/ nekrópolis, ‘city of the dead’, is attested in Antiquity only in Strabo (17,1,10,14) as the name of a suburb of Alexandria [1] (Necropolis). Modern scholarship transfers the term necropolis to cemeteries of various cultures and time periods. General definitions as to shape and size do not exist. In this article, necropolis refers only to sites of a certain size and usually lying outside the settlements themselves. The size of a necropolis, the …

Temple

(5,554 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia The Sumerian term é and the Akkadian term bītu, meaning 'temple' or 'house (of the deity)', were not restricted to 'dwellings' of deities of a particular size or importance. They applied to sanctuaries from small neighbourhood shrines in residential areas to large, freestanding, tall buildings, from one-room cult sites to temple complexes with extensive auxiliary buildings, and they could be used for temples where one or many deities were worshipped. Prehistoric structures are often classified as temples only because apparently they nei…

Funerary architecture

(5,482 words)

Author(s): Kammerer-Grothaus, Helke (Bremen) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Hauser, Stefan R. (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Et al.
[German version] I. Definition Funerary architecture (FA) refers to architectonically designed structures built above the contemporary ground level for the purpose of  burial, as opposed to underground hypogea, which have rooms for the cult of the dead and hero cult. Columbaria can combine both types. Hypogea with a ground level cult room influenced the early Christian martyria above the graves. Regarding further aspects of FA, cf.  Hypogaeum;  Maussolleum;  Necropoleis. Kammerer-Grothaus, Helke (Bremen) II. Egypt and the Near East [German version] A. Egypt The Egyptian buria…

Pins

(3,978 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Giesen, Katharina (Tübingen) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Steimle, Christopher (Erfurt) | Et al.
[German version] I. General Pins and needles (βελόνη/ belónē, περόνη/ perónē, ῥαφίς/ rhaphís, Latin acus) were put to a variety of uses in the ancient household: they were used for hair, garments and sewing. They were also a utensil, for example, in the work of doctors (Surgical instruments), sailmakers etc. Tattoos were also done using special needles. The shape of the pin, long and thin with one sharp end, has not changed since prehistoric times. In sewing needles, the head is generally unadorned and flat; …
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