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Rhyton

(619 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin)
(τὸ ῥυτόν/ tò rhytón). [German version] I. Object Funnel-shaped vessel for dispensing and drinking, usually ending in the head, or protome, of an animal; the name is derived from ῥύσις/ rhýsis (‘stream’) because the liquid could run out through a small hole at the bottom as long as it was not held closed [1; 2]. Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) Bibliography 1 F. von Lorentz, s.v. Rhyton, RE Suppl. 6, 643 2 W.H. Gross, s. v. Rhyton, KlP 4, 1426 f. [German version] II. Ancient Near East The only evidence of rhyta in the Ancient Near East and Egypt before the Achaemenids is in Anatolia,…

Mesopotamia

(7,071 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
I. General [German version] A. Name The name M., i.e. ‘[land] between the rivers [ Euphrates [2] and Tigris]’, first appears in Arrian (Arr. Anab. 3,7,3; 7,7,3) as a designation for the area of what is now eastern Syria and northern Iraq, probably corresponding to the Aramaic beyn nahrīn and the Akkadian māt birīt nārim (both ‘between the rivers’). However, this expression designated only the region between the bend of the Euphrates and Baliḫ/Ḫabur [1; 2]. Later, M. could also refer to the entire region of the two rivers (Plin. HN 5,86). In modern,…

Column

(3,015 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Egypt and the Ancient Orient As a statically significant building element, whether in wood or modelled from stone or brick, the column played different roles in Egypt and the Ancient Orient. In Egypt columns were a component of almost every form of architecture, from roof-bearing wooden posts in family residences to extravagantly shaped stone columns in temples and palaces. Having bases and capitals, the latter, too, betrayed the evolution from wooden columns. Columns frequently took on the shape of plants; they were probably always painted. Columns were used sp…

Getreide

(3,928 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Sallares, Robert (Manchester)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Die verschiedenen bespelzten und nackten Weizen- ( triticum = t.) und Gerstearten ( hordeum) zählen zu den frühesten domestizierten Pflanzen des Vorderen Orients (Q. Ǧarmu; Çatal H.; Fajum). Zu den Weizenarten gehört außer dem Emmer ( t. dicoccum) und dem Einkorn ( t. monococcum), beide bespelzt, auch der gewöhnliche oder Brotweizen (nackt; t. aestivum). Die Tatsache, daß die größeren Arbeitsaufwand erfordernden bespelzten Arten (Entfernung der Spelzen durch Rösten) auch in späteren Jt. noch überwogen, wird mit der bes…

Rabbath-Ammon

(318 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton)
This item can be found on the following maps: Syria | Theatre | Dead Sea (textual finds) | Hasmonaeans | Pompeius ( Rabbath bnē Ammōn, LXX Ῥαββά/ Rhabbá; Pol. Ῥαβατάμανα/ Rhabatámana, Assyrian bīt ammāna; Philadelphia since the mid 3rd cent. BC; modern Ammān). [German version] I. Through the Persian Period Capital city of the Ammonites (Ammon [2]); the oldest traces of settlement come from the Neolithic Age (7th-6th millennium BC). The earliest important remains with rich tombs on the citadel date from the Middle Bronze Age (1st half of the 2…

Zoo

(933 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Müller, Stefan (Hagen)
(παράδεισος/ parádeisos, ζωγρεῖον/ zōgreîon; Latin vivarium). [German version] I. Ancient Orient Zoos are known primarily from neo-Assyrian palace sites (11th-7th cents. BC), in the sense both of parks populated with animals of every kind and of enclosures in which game was kept (Paradeisos). Reliefs of hunting lions, wild asses etc. are known from the palace of Assurbanipal in Nineveh with representations of cages/enclosures; there are written records of lion enclosures as early as the beginning of the 2n…

Irrigation

(1,183 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Rathbone, Dominic (London)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt Irrigation means the artificial provision of water to fields in order to enable or intensify plant growth. It supported cultivation in rain-fed regions (attested as early as the 5th millennium BC in western Iran), but its primary significance was in areas whose productivity depended entirely on it, their own rainfall never being sufficient, such as the Nile Valley and the middle and lower reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris. In irrigation, the entire surface to b…

Relief

(3,221 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
I. Egypt and Ancient Near East [German version] A. Egypt Egypt had a long tradition of the two-dimensional portrayal of individual scenes and substantial compositions, initially as paintings on pottery, later as wall paintings and reliefs ( e.g. Narmer Palette, Proto-dynastic Period, c. 3100 BC). At the latest from the time of the Old Kingdom onwards, stone steles could be added to these, erected in association with the cult of the dead (dead, cult of), while the deeds of rulers were depicted in longer scenes on the walls of major build…

Orthostats

(230 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Ancient Near East and Egypt In Near Eastern archaeology, orthostats are standing stone slabs, which in the Anatolian region originally protected the base of walls from backsplash. From the 9th cent. onwards, especially in the Neo-Assyrian palaces, they were used as mounts for static and narrative reliefs. The narrative cycles in the palaces of the rulers Assurnaṣirpal II. in Kalḫu, Sennacherib and Assurbanipal in Nineveh (Ninos [2]) are famous. In the contemporar…

Mills

(1,880 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Baatz, Dietwulf (Bad Homburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In the Near Eastern and Egyptian cultures, only grinding mills were used. These consisted of an oblong grindstone and a running stone that was moved back and forth on top of it. Rotary mills, the upper stone of which turned on an axis, did not appear until Roman influence made itself felt. The grinding stones were mostly of basalt, imported from afar when necessary. The terms for the grinding and rubbing stones are NA4.ARÀ in Sumerian, erûm and narkabum in Akkadian, bnwt in Egyptian. Mills could be found in every household; large-scale mill…

Town planning

(3,963 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen)
[German version] I. General Town planning is the designing of urban settlements (Town, city) on an organizational basis, with the central and particular functions of the town, e.g. as a port or a political centre, having an effect on its external and internal form. Most towns and cities in the Middle East and Egypt arose in the earliest times (in the Middle East from the 5th millennium onwards) at economically or strategically important points (trade routes, river crossings, anchorages). Towns and c…

Sheep

(2,576 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Jameson, Michael (Stanford) | Ruffing, Kai (Münster)
[German version] I. The Near East and Egypt (Sumerian udu, sheep, u8, ewe, udu.nita, fat-tailed sheep; Akkadian immeru (culture word) [4]; Egyptian zr ( wp.t). The Near East lies in the natural range of the Asiatic mouflon ( Ovis orientalis), which was apparently used in various locations for the breeding of wool sheep; the earliest examples for this important step [8] come from the area of south-eastern Asia Minor/northern Levant/northern Mesopotamia in the 7th millennium BC [7. 73]. From the 7th/6th millennia BC on, the sheep play…

Shipbuilding

(1,703 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Briese, Christoph (Randers) | Konen, Heinrich (Regensburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Due to the lack of original finds from most regions of the ancient Orient, little can be said about shipbuilding, except for Egypt. The fact that many Syrians were employed in Egyptian shipyards and that a ship (from around 1300 BC) found at Ulu Burun, Turkey was built in the same technique as Egyptian ships indicates that a uniform shipbuilding technique was used throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Here, wooden planks were placed in the desired position w…

Mühle

(1,521 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Baatz, Dietwulf (Bad Homburg)
[English version] I. Alter Orient und Ägypten In den vorderasiat.-äg. Kulturen waren lediglich Reibe-M. in Gebrauch, die aus einem länglichen Reibstein und einem darauf hin- und her bewegten steinernen Läufer bestanden. Rund-M., deren oberer Stein sich um eine Achse drehte, erschienen erst unter röm. Einfluß. Die Reibsteine waren meist aus Basalt, der wenn nötig über weite Strecken importiert wurde. Die Termini für Reibstein bzw. Läufer sind sumerisch NA4.ARÀ, akkadisch erûm und narkabum, äg. bnwt. M. waren in jedem Haushalt zu finden, waren aber auch als Großbetriebe…

Textiles, production of

(2,346 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Pekridou-Gorecki, Anastasia (Frankfurt/Main)
[German version] I. The Ancient Orient and Egypt Weaving, which presumably developed from the plaiting of mats and baskets, is probably one of the oldest craft technologies. Owing to the climate, textiles do not survive in most of the countries of the Middle East; thus we have only a few, mostly carbonized, remains to show that different styles of weaving were already known, and various materials (Wool, Linen, flax) used, in the Neolithic Period. Great numbers of spindle whorls, mostly of fired clay, an…

Salz

(1,399 words)

Author(s): Germer, Renate (Hamburg) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Giovannini, Adalberto (Genf) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[English version] I. Alter Orient und Ägypten S. (sumerisch mun; akkadisch ṭabtu; hethitisch puti; hebräisch mælaḥ; äg. sm.t) spielte in allen altoriental. Kulturen und in Äg. eine wichtige Rolle. Bei den teilweise hohen Temperaturen war S.-Zufuhr lebensnotwendig; so war S. ein Teil der normalen Arbeiterrationen in Mesopot. und Äg. (Ration). Es diente v. a. zum Würzen von Speisen wie auch zum Konservieren von Fleisch und Fisch. Auch in der Medizin wurde S. innerlich und äußerlich verwendet. S. war ein wichtiger…

Militärtechnik

(1,558 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Gniers, Andrea Maria (Los Angeles) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Über Militärorganisation und M. sind wir für Mesopotamien wie überhaupt für den Vorderen Orient sowohl von schriftlicher als auch von arch. Seite her schlecht unterrichtet. Das Einzelbeispiel “Geierstele” (um 2500 v.Chr. aus Tello, Südbabylonien; [1. Taf. 91]) deutet auf Unterschiede zwischen Schwer- und Leichtbewaffneten. Die dort und auf der “Ur-Standarte” (etwas älter, aus Ur; [1. Taf. VIII]) abgebildeten Kampfwagen hatten wegen ihrer Schwerfälligkeit, v.a. aber w…

Palast

(3,499 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[English version] I. Terminologie und Definition Der mod. Begriff “Palast” leitet sich ab vom Palatin (Mons Palatinus), dem Hügel Roms, auf dem die Residenzen der röm. Kaiser standen. Als P. werden Bauanlagen bezeichnet, die einem Herrscher als Wohn- und Repräsentationssitz dienten. Je nach weiteren, dazukommenden Funktionen konnte er im Alt. verschiedene, von der jeweiligen Funktion abhängige Bezeichnungen haben. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) II. Alter Orient [English version] A. Baugeschichte Im Alten Orient und Äg. war ein P. von den Ursprüngen her ein Wohnhaus mit…

Rind

(2,724 words)

Author(s): Raepsaet, Georges (Brüssel) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jameson, Michael (Stanford)
[English version] I. Allgemein Das R. ( Bos taurus) gehört zu den bovidae und stammt von dem eurasischen, großhornigen Ur ( Bos primigenius) ab. Die Domestikation von langhornigen Wildrindern erfolgte in Zentralasien wahrscheinlich 10000 bis 8000 v. Chr. und im Vorderen Orient gegen 7000-6000 v. Chr. Im 3. Jt. v. Chr. verbreiteten sich in Europa verschiedene Rassen des Hausrindes. Bestände von Wildrindern existierten noch in Waldregionen des östlichen Mittelmeerraumes, so in Dardania und Thrakien (Varro rust. 2,1,5) sowie in Mitteleuropa (Caes. Gall. 6,28). In der Ant. wurden…

Throne

(613 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Ceremonially decorated piece of furniture for gods and rulers to sit on, with a high back and often with arm-rests. The sides were often shaped as animals or animal protomae; the legs were often worked in the shape of animal legs. Apart from a few fragments in stone, most thrones were probably made of wood and hence in the area of the Near East have not been preserved, but are known from numerous depictions. Thrones were presumably usually provided with metal (gold) or ivory embellishments (cf. the numerous surviving examples from Egypt). Nissen, H…
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