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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…

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…

Minting

(2,959 words)

Author(s): von Kaenel, Hans-Markus (Frankfurt/Main) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
I. Classical Antiquity [German version] A. Coins and coinage. General Coins, a particular, developmentally late form of money, are handy, usually are round pieces of metal made of gold, electron, silver, copper or copper alloys. The metal exhibits a prescribed composition (fineness), and the coins a weight defined by the applicable standard (Coinage, standards of). Coins bear signs on their obverse and the reverse: a design and usually an inscription. Through their characteristics, coins could be recognized as the product of those authorities (society or ruler) wh…

Agriculture

(7,403 words)

Author(s): Hruška, Blahoslav (Prague) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Osborne, Robin (Oxford) | Schreiner, Peter (Cologne) | Et al.
I. Near East and Egypt [German version] A. Introduction In the Near Orient (particularly the southern Levant and Syria) and Egypt, a fundamental change in the history of mankind occurred 12,000 years ago: the transition from the hunter-gatherer life of paleolithic times to neolithic agrarian society. In the so-called ‘fertile crescent’ and in Egypt, agriculture almost always included livestock farming. Agriculture also encompassed the planting of fruit trees, viticulture and horticulture. The methods of food production led to increasing freedom from dependency on e…

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…

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 …

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; …

Crafts, Trade

(7,461 words)

Author(s): van de Mieroop, Marc (New York) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Bieg, Gebhard (Tübingen) | Burford-Cooper, Alison (Ann Arbor) | Et al.
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Crafts in Egypt, in Syria-Palestine and in Mesopotamia can be best categorized by the materials employed: stone, bone and other animal products, clay and glass, metals, wood, wool and flax and leather, as well as reed and plant fibres. These were used to make objects of the most varied kinds, from cooking-pots to finely worked pieces of jewellery. For the building trade, stone, clay, reed and wood were important. For the investigation of the various forms of…

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…
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