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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…

Celtic Archaeology

(1,524 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] A. General Celtic archaeology (CA) investigates the material legacy of groups of the population from the Iron Age, mostly in southern and south-western Central Europe, in addition to the  Germanic archaeology, which borders onto it to the north and north-east. This concerns the  Hallstatt culture of the early and the  La Tène culture of the late Iron Age. The equating of this archaeologically knowable cultures with the ethnicity of the  Celts is not constantly and unambiguously poss…

Silver

(2,474 words)

Author(s): Riederer, Josef (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
[German version] I. Definition Silver (ἀργύριον/ argýrion, ἄργυρος/ árgyros; Latin argentum) is a precious metal, which in Antiquity was extracted primarily by smelting silver-bearing ores of lead. Four different kinds occur naturally: 1. as pure silver; 2. as silver ore; 3. as a component of galena, the only economically interesting ore of lead; 4. in alloy with gold, i.e. as electrum (Elektron), in which the gold content can amount to less than 30 %. Pure silver is rare and its surface corrodes, so that…

Tumulus

(4,351 words)

Author(s): Steimle, Christopher (Erfurt) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Jung, Reinhard (Berlin) | Hülden, Oliver (Tübingen) | Naso, Alessandro (Udine) | Et al.
(Latin 'hill', 'funerary mound', pl. tumuli; Greek τύμβος/ týmbos, σῆμα/ sêma; χῶμα/ chôma). I. Definition, distribution, function [German version] A. Definition Tumulusis a general term for a mound, as a rule artificial and usually round or oval in plan, associated with a burial ('burial mounds', as opposed, e.g., to prehistoric settlement mounds). Tumulus burial (‘mound burial’) describes all burials that have been covered by a mound. Tumulus is also used in archaeology as a technical term for burial mounds outsid…

Fortifications

(2,871 words)

Author(s): Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle) | Miller, Martin (Berlin) | Blech, Michael (Madrid) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Baatz, Dietwulf (Bad Homburg)
[German version] I. Greece After the massive Mycenaean fortified palaces had been abandoned, several centuries passed before larger fortifications were again built in Greece. During the Geometric Period fortification construction in the motherland remained modest. Simple structures were built that left few if any remains, and the ruins of Mycenaean fortifications sufficed for protection requirements. However, citadels (acropoleis), peninsulas, and other topographically suitable locations were fortif…

Thorsberg Moor

(217 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] A peat bog in Süderbrarup (in Schleswig-Holstein), from which numerous finds of the most varied kinds, e.g. weapons, jewellery, tools, coins, textiles and pots, (1st cent. BC to 4th cent. AD) were recovered in the second half of the 19th cent. The place of the finds is interpreted as a central cult and sacrifice site for the Germanic Angle tribe. The objects found are also from Roman workshops among other places, and (as gifts or booty?) from Germanic tribes neighbouring to the so…

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…

Dürrnberg

(135 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] The D. near Hallein (Salzburg) was a centre of Celtic culture in Central Europe from the Hallstatt period (6th cent. BC). Early salt-mining brought the partly fortified settlement in the upper valley of the D. economic prosperity rendering it important well beyond the region. This is attested by rich burials, esp. from the early La Tène period (5th/4th cent. BC), with lavish grave-goods and many southern imports. D. lost importance in the late Celtic period (2nd/1st cent. BC), and the settlement shifted to the valley of the Salzach around Hallein.  M…

La Tène Culture

(575 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] Named after the archaeological site La Tène (field name) at Thielle on Lake Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel Canton, Switzerland. Soon after the discovery in the mid 19th cent., the La Tène Culture (LTC)/La Tène Period was recognized as typical of the later Iron Age in much of Central Europe and neighbouring areas. The site itself is, however, not particularly typical of the LTC, firstly because it offers a cross-section of finds (above all weapons and iron implements, wooden parts, etc.) tha…

Pottery, production of

(2,347 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] I. Celtic-Germanic civilizations The manufacture of pottery in the Celtic and Germanic world is characterized by two shaping processes: 1) freehand moulding without any technical aids and 2) shaping on the potter’s wheel. Until the early Celts adopted the high-speed wheel from the Mediterranean world, coiling pots by hand and other freehand shaping methods were the sole methods and remained in practice into the Middle Ages to varying degrees. In central Europe, pottery thrown on potters’ wheels in local shops from the early Celtic 'princely seats' …

Sword

(862 words)

Author(s): Le Bohec, Yann (Lyon) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] I. Classical Antiquity The sword used in Rome's early period is referred to as ensis or gladius in the transmission (Verg. Aen. 7,743; 9,431; 12,458; Liv. 1,43,2). According to Livy, the soldiers of the first three classes ('divisions') in the Servian order of centuriae were equipped with swords (Liv. 1,43,2). The Gallic sword was longer and had no pointed tip, the Hispanic sword was short, had a tip and was more suitable for thrusting than for slashing (Liv. 22,46,5). In the period of the 2nd Punic W…

Oberdorla

(164 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] O. is a bog in the district of Mühlhausen (Germany) where sacrifices were made. It was completely excavated 1957-1964, but published only in parts until now. It is a Germanic cult site that was used from the 6th cent. BC to the 4th cent. AD and which shows strong Celtic influences in the pre-Christian period. In the bog, various cultic areas were demarcated by stones or poles. Numerous animal bones (especially from cows and horses) and remains of sacrificial meals show that the si…

Amber

(687 words)

Author(s): Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] I. General The fossil resin of the conifers that gets its name in German ( Bernstein) from its combustibility or as a succinite. The magnetic power of attraction of amber was already known to Thales (A 1,24 and A 3 DK); from the Greek name ἤλεκτρον ( ḗlektron) the modern term ‘electricity’ is derived. Mentioned in Aristotle (e.g. Met. 4,10,388b19 ff.) and Theophrastus (H. plant. 9,18,2; Lapid. 3,16; 5,28 and 29 [2]), and as sucinum in Tacitus (Germ. 45). Pliny (Italian thium, German glaesum: HN 37,31-46) characterizes amber as defluens medulla pinei generis arboribus (‘t…

Lock, Key

(835 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] I. Classical antiquity (Lock: κλεῖθρον/ kleîthron or κλεῖστρον/ kleîstron, βαλανάγρα/ balanágra; cf. Lat. claustrum/ claustra; bolt: μοχλός/ mochlós; key: κλεῖς/ kleîs, κλειδίον/ kleidíon; Lat. clavis). Apart from the bolting of a door or gate by means of a beam, a system was employed in Greek/Roman antiquity that had already been described in Hom. Od. 21,6f.; 46-50 and was still in use in Roman times: a bolt provided with projections was drawn into its locked position from the outside by means of a cord…

Hallstatt Cul­ture

(996 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] The early Iron Age in central Europe is called the Hallstatt Culture (HC), after the town of Hallstatt in the Austrian Salzkammergut. In the middle of the 19th cent., a large cemetery (over 1,000 burials) was found there with extensive find material, which was viewed as typical and led to the definition of the HC in the 19th cent. The find site has a very special significance, because there is a salt mine there which was already extensively worked in the Bronze Age [5; 11. 67-79]. The HC includes the period from the middle of the 8th cent. to the middle of the 5…

Hoard finds

(754 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Kohler, Christoph (Bad Krozingen)
[German version] I. Celto-Germanic area In central Europe from the Byzantine period onwards, hoard finds (HF; storage, treasure, safekeeping, mass, hidden finds, etc.) primarily of metal objects (copper, bronze, iron, precious metals) are an important archaeological group of finds. The diversity of terms reflects the breadth of the discussion of the importance of the HF. The various contexts of the finds, e.g. solid ground, moors, rivers, special places (rocks, crevices, caves, transport routes, etc.…

Salt

(1,504 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Germer, Renate (Hamburg) | Giovannini, Adalberto (Geneva) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East and Egypt Salt (Sumerian mun; Akkadian ṭabtu; Hittite puti; Hebrew mælaḥ; Egyptian sm.t) played an important role in all ancient Near Eastern cultures and in Egypt. In often high temperatures, the supply of salt was essential to life: salt was therefore part of workers' ordinary rations in Mesopotamia and Egypt (Rations). It was esp. used to season foods and to preserve meat and fish. In medicine, too, salt was used internally and externally. Salt was an important ingredient…

Celtic/Germanic archaeology

(2,366 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
Pingel, Volker (Bochum) [German version] A. Definition (CT) Celtic/Germanic Archaeology (CGA) is a part of prehistoric archaeology (= prehistory, early prehistory and protohistory). Based on archaeological evidence (finds, monuments), the largely non-written history and culture of the Celts and the Germani are investigated using  archaeological methods. Its scholarly and scientific development and reception can be broken down into several stages. In doing so the main criteria are the steps that lead to …

Mirror

(1,020 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
(κάτοπτρον/ kátoptron; Lat. speculum). [German version] I. Greek Circular hand mirrors made of bronze with decorated ivory handles were already known in the Mycenaean period. Then mirrors are again evident from the second half of the 8th cent. BC. Greek mirrors can be divided into hand mirrors, standing mirrors and folding mirrors. Silver mirrors from the Mycenaean period have not survived, those from later periods only in exceptional circumstances. Round hand mirrors were developed as a direct imitatio…

Monsters

(772 words)

Author(s): Green, Anthony (Berlin) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Käppel, Lutz (Kiel)
[German version] I. Ancient East and Egypt Monsters appear frequently in the art of the Ancient East and Egypt, with the exception of the very earliest periods.  They combine elements from two of more animals, or from animals and humans. In Egypt the gods themselves are often represented as hybrid monsters. with a great variety of forms: gods with animal heads, like Amun and Chnum (ram; Chnubis), Thot (ibis), Horus and Re (falcon), Sebek (crocodile), Anubis (dog) and Chontamenti (wolf or jackal); goddesses such as Bastet with a cat's …
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