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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…

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…

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…

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…

Stucco, Pargetting

(533 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Mouldable, quickly hardening material of gypsum, lime, sand and water, occasionally with stone powder, which was used in many places (in Egypt from the Old Kingdom onwards, c. 2700-2190 BC) to smooth walls and as a base for painting. Figurines, vases and moulds for casting metal were also made from stucco. From the Parthian period onwards (1st cent. BC), figured or geometric stucco reliefs covering long walls are attested. They were modelled by hand or using templates; in the Sassanid and early Islamic periods they were also carved. Nissen, Hans Jörg…

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…

Cattle

(2,971 words)

Author(s): Raepsaet, Georges (Brüssel) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Jameson, Michael (Stanford)
[German version] I. General information Cattle ( Bos taurus) belong to the bovine family and are descended from the Eurasian big-horned aurochs ( Bos primigenius). Longhorn wild cattle were most likely domesticated in Central Asia between 10,000 to 8,000 BC and in the Near East around 7,000 to 6,000 BC. In the 3rd millennium BC various breeds of domesticated cattle spread throughout Europe. Herds of wild cattle still existed in the forested regions of the eastern Mediterranean, such as Dardania and Thrace (Varro, Rust. 2,1,5), as well as in Central Europe (Caes. B Gall. 6,28). In antiquit…

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…

Palace

(3,814 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] I. Terminology and Definition The modern term ‘palace’ is derived from the Palatine (Mons Palatinus), one of Rome’s seven hills, on which the residences of the Roman emperors were located. Palaces are buildings that a ruler uses as a residence and for representation. Depending on additional functions, they could have other names in Antiquity, relating to their respective use. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) II. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Structural History In the Ancient Near East and Egypt, the palace was originally a house with considerably expa…

Seleucia

(1,530 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Wagner, Jörg (Tübingen) | Martini, Wolfram (Gießen) | Hild, Friedrich (Vienna) | Brandt, Hartwin (Chemnitz)
(Σελεύκεια/ Seleúkeia, Latin Seleucia). [German version] [1] S. on the Tigris This item can be found on the following maps: Diadochi and Epigoni | Hellenistic states | India, trade with (Σελεύκεια ἡ ἐπὶ τῷ Τίγρει/ Seleúkeia hē epì tôi Tígrei: Str. 16,738; 743; 750 et passim; Latin Seleucia Magna: Plin. HN 6,43, cuneiform Selukuja [1], modern Tall Umar). On the right bank of the Tigris, c. 60 km north-east of Babylon and 35 km south of Baghdad, at the mouth of the Nahr Malkā (connecting canal between the Tigris and Euphrates) and thus very favourably located …

Navigation

(2,434 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Alonso-Núñez, José Miguel (Madrid)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In Egypt and southern Mesopotamia navigation played a major role, especially in inland traffic but also in communication across the sea. In both countries, rivers and canals were the major traffic arteries that were even used by the gods on their mutual visits and by rulers on their tours. Beyond their ordinary significance as a means of transportation for people and goods, ships also had a religious connotation. In Egypt the vocabulary of navigation entered daily life. In both countries, boats sailed or were towed, but in southern M…

Military technology and engineering

(1,756 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Gniers, Andrea Maria (Los Angeles) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient For Mesopotamia, as for the Near East in general, we are poorly informed by both written and archaeological sources about military organization, techniques, and engineering. The isolated case of the ‘Vulture Stele’ (about 2500 BC, from Tello, southern Babylonia; [1. pl. 91]) points to differences between heavily and lightly armed soldiers. The war chariots depicted there and on the ‘Ur Standard’ (somewhat older, from Ur; [1. pl. VIII]) were probably static symbols, …

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…

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…

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…

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…

Marsyas

(971 words)

Author(s): Visser, Edzard (Basle) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Ziegler, Konrat (Göttingen) | Sonnabend, Holger (Stuttgart)
(Μαρσύας; Marsýas). [German version] [1] Phrygian rivergod and Celaenae's god of protection Phrygian river god and Celaenae's god of protection, represented as satyr or silenus. The name is derived from a toponym that can be found repeatedly throughout Asia Minor and Syria; the river, at the source of which Celaenae lies, also carries this name (M. [5]). M. was considered the discoverer of flute playing ( aulós), the inventor of the bandage used for flute playing ( phorbeiá) and of songs for the worship of the goddess Cybele. According to the myth, the possibility to pla…

Marsyas

(872 words)

Author(s): Visser, Edzard (Basel) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Ziegler, Konrat † (Göttingen) | Sonnabend, Holger (Stuttgart)
(Μαρσύας). [English version] [1] phryg. Flußgott und Schutzgottheit von Kelainai Phrygischer Flußgott und Schutzgottheit von Kelainai, dargestellt als Satyr oder Silen. Der Name ist aus einem im kleinasiatisch-syr. Raum mehrfach vorkommenden Toponym abgeleitet; auch der Fluß, an dessen Quelle Kelainai liegt, trägt diesen Namen (M. [5]). M. galt als Entdecker des Flötenspiels ( aulós), Erfinder der Binde, die beim Flötespielen verwendet wurde ( phorbeiá) und von Liedern zur Verehrung der Göttin Kybele. Dem Mythos zufolge ist die Möglichkeit, mit einer Flöte …

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…

Ptolemais

(1,304 words)

Author(s): Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Harmon, Roger (Basle) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Huß, Werner (Bamberg) | Et al.
(Πτολεμαίς; Ptolemaís). [German version] [1] Daughter of Ptolemaeus [1] I and Eurydice [4] Daughter of Ptolemaeus [1] I and Eurydice [4]; presumably married to a descendant of the pharaoh Nectanebus [2]; from 298 BC betrothed, and from 287 married to Demetrius [2] Poliorcetes. PP VI 14565. Ameling, Walter (Jena) Bibliography W. Huß, Das Haus des Nektanebis und das Haus des Ptolemaios, in: AncSoc 25, 1994, 111-117  J. Seibert, Historische Beiträge zu den dynastischen Verbindungen in hellenistischer Zeit, 1967, 30 ff. 74 f. [German version] [2] P. from Cyrene Ancient scholar of m…

Ptolemaïs

(1,197 words)

Author(s): Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Harmon, Roger (Basel) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Huß, Werner (Bamberg) | Et al.
(Πτολεμαίς). [English version] [1] Tochter Ptolemaios' [1] I. und der Eurydike [4] Tochter Ptolemaios' [1] I. und der Eurydike [4]; verm. mit einem Nachkommen des Pharao Nektanebos [2] verheiratet; seit 298 v. Chr. verlobt, ab 287 Gattin des Demetrios [2] Poliorketes. PP VI 14565. Ameling, Walter (Jena) Bibliography W. Huß, Das Haus des Nektanebis und das Haus des Ptolemaios, in: AncSoc 25, 1994, 111-117  J. Seibert, Histor. Beitr. zu den dynastischen Verbindungen in hell. Zeit, 1967, 30 ff. 74 f. [English version] [2] P. aus Kyrene Musikgelehrte, 1. Jh. Die einzige bekannte weiblic…

Nekropolen

(6,163 words)

Author(s): Tsochos, Charalampos (Erfurt) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Genz, Hermann (Istanbul) | Hiesel, Gerhard (Freiburg) | Et al.
[English version] I. Einleitung Das griech. Wort νεκρόπολις/ nekrópolis, “Totenstadt”, ist ant. nur bei Strabon (17,1,10,14) als Name eines Vorortes von Alexandreia [1] (Nekropolis) belegt. Die mod. Forsch. überträgt den Begriff N. auf Friedhöfe verschiedener Kulturen und Zeitstellungen. Allgemeinverbindliche Definitionen zu Ausgestaltung und Größe bestehen somit nicht. Als N. sollen hier nur Anlagen verstanden werden, die über eine gewisse Größe verfügen und in der Regel außerhalb der eigentlichen Sied…
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