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NEW: Taymāʾ I: Archaeological Exploration, Palaeoenvironment, Cultural Contacts edited by Arnulf Hausleiter, Ricardo Eichmann, Muhammad al-Najem. Hardback; 210x297mm; xii+268 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (66 plates in colour). 499 2018 Taymāʾ: Multidisciplinary Series on the Results of the Saudi-German Archaeological Project 1. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789690439. £55.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789690446. Book contents pageDownload

Archaeological investigations in the north-western part of the Arabian Peninsula has increased during the last 15 years. One of the major sites in the region is the ancient oasis of Taymāʾ, known as a commercial hub on the so-called Incense Road connecting South Arabia with the Eastern Mediterranean. In the context of this new research a multidisciplinary project by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has been investigating the archaeology and ancient environment of Taymāʾ since 2004. A major aim of this project was the development of new perspectives of the site and the region, characterised by elaborating the local socio-cultural and economic contexts. So far, Taymāʾ has been known mainly through exogenous sources.

The present volume is the first of the publication series of the Saudi-German archaeological project and focuses on three fundamental aspects of research at Taymāʾ: the current archaeological exploration of the oasis is contextualised with previous and ongoing research within the region, while at the same time offering a first overview of the settlement history of the site, which may have started as early as more than 6000 years ago. New information on the palaeoenvironment has been provided by multiproxy- analysis of sediments from a palaeolake immediately north of the settlement. The results indicate an Early Holocene humid period in the region that is shorter than the so-called African Humid Period. The abrupt aridification at around 8 ka BP, known from other regions in the Near East, is also attested in north-western Arabia. The reconstruction of the past vegetation of the site and its surroundings demonstrates that oasis cultivation at Taymāʾ started during the 5th millennium BCE with grapes and figs, rather than with the date palm. According to hydrological investigations on water resources, groundwater aquifers provided the main source of local water supply. These were exploited through wells, some of which have been identified in the area of the ancient oasis. Finally, since the time of early travellers to Northwest Arabia evidence of cultural contacts has been observed in the records from the site, which had been occupied by the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus (556–539 BCE) for ten years. A historical-archaeological essay on Egypt and Arabia as well as a study on the ambiguous relationship between Assyria and Arabia – characterised by conflict and commerce – shed new light on the foreign relations of ancient Taymāʾ.

About the Editors
ARNULF HAUSLEITER is researcher at the DAI’s Orient Department for the Taymāʾ project, funded by the German Research foundation (DFG). He has been field director of the excavations at Taymāʾ since 2004 and has co-directed the project with Ricardo Eichmann.

RICARDO EICHMANN is director of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. He is the head of the German component of the Taymāʾ project and has co-directed it with Arnulf Hausleiter.

MUHAMMAD AL-NAJEM is head of the Antiquities Office of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and director of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Taymāʾ, Province of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.
Dinamiche insediative nelle campagne dell'Italia tra Tarda Antichità e Alto Medioevo by Angelo Castrorao Barba. Paperback; 203x276mm; ii+180 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. Papers in Italian with English abstracts. 47 2018 Limina/Limites: Archaeologies, histories, islands and borders in the Mediterranean (365-1556) 6. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784918231. £30.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784918248. Book contents pageDownload

This volume gathers together a series of selected contributions about settlement patterns in the Italian countryside between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. This volume aims to show a critical overview of a range of some of the most recent research carried out on late antique and early medieval Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Apulia and Calabria), and to enhance our current knowledge as well as to provide innovative interpretative frameworks to gain a better understanding of rural settlement dynamics.

About the Editor
ANGELO CASTRORAO BARBA (Palermo, 1983) is currently a Fellow at the University of Palermo (Sicily, Italy). His principal fields of interest are Late Antique and Early Medieval Archaeology and the transformations of landscape and settlement patterns from Roman times to the Middle Ages in the Mediterranean area. In 2013, he obtained a PhD in Medieval Archaeology (University of Siena) with a dissertation about the end of Roman villas in Italy between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (AD 200-800). In 2014, he received a post-graduate Masters Diploma in GIS & Remote Sensing (Centre for Geo Technologies / Siena). In 2014-2015 he was a guest researcher at VU University Amsterdam and a postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). In summer 2018 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the DFG Center for Advanced Studies ‘Migration and Mobility in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages’ of the University of Tübingen. For the period 2018/2020 he is a postdoctoral scholar in the Getty-sponsored workshop series ‘Mediterranean Palimpsests: Connecting the Art and Architectural Histories of Medieval & Early Modern Cities’. Currently (2016-2018), he is a research fellow on the project ‘Harvesting Memories’ (University of Palermo / Soprintendenza BB.CC.AA. of Palermo) which aims to study the ecology and archaeology of rural landscapes in the Sicani Mountains (C-W Sicily).
Indonesian Megaliths: A Forgotten Cultural Heritage by Tara Steimer-Herbet. Paperback; 205x290mm; viii+104 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (94 plates in colour). (Print RRP £30.00). 413 2018 Laboratoire d’archéologie préhistorique UNIGE . Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784918439. £30.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784918446. Book contents pageDownload

Indonesian Megaliths: A forgotten cultural heritage highlights aspects of Indonesian culture which are currently misunderstood and sometimes threatened by destruction. Although they are relatively recent in origin, the Indonesian megaliths offer similarities to their counterparts in the Middle East and Arabia: they reflect the rise to prominence of local chiefs in a context of acculturation which prompted the need to build megalithic monuments to bury the dead, and to honour, commemorate and communicate with ancestors. In societies of oral tradition, these stones punctuate the landscape to transmit the memory of men and social structure from one generation to the next.

Based on scientific documents (articles, archaeological reports) and field visits, this new exploration clarifies various elements of the Indonesian megaliths, including their function in the daily life of the tribes and the use of certain stones for musical purposes (lithophony). In Nias, Sumba and Toraya, the megalith tradition is still alive and ethno-anthropological studies of these three regions provide a unique chance to complement the archaeological perspectives on megalithic monuments abandoned for several centuries in the rest of the Archipelago. The book includes numerous photographs documenting the monuments which were taken during the author’s stay in Indonesia (2010-2013).

About the Author
TARA STEIMER-HERBET is a graduate of Paris 1 - Panthéon La Sorbonne where she carried out her doctoral research on developing a methodological approach to Middle Eastern archaeology. Her research led her to become particularly interested in megalithism, and the way this phenomenon is expressed in the cultural and funerary practices of the Levant and western Arabia during the 4th and 3rd millennia BC. In 2005 she excavated a sanctuary in Hadramawt (Yemen) and since 2010 has focussed on the megalithic phenomenon in Indonesia. Her research efforts currently concentrate on the preservation of megalithic monuments in the Akkar region of Lebanon as well as on characterising the megalithic phenomenon of the 3rd and 2d millennium BC in the Kuwait region of al-Subiya, Dr Steimer currently teaches ‘archaeological methodology’ and ‘megalithism in the world’ at the Laboratory of Prehistoric Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Navigation et installations lacustres dans les hautes terres du Mexique les cas mexica et tarasque by Alexandra Biar. Paperback; 203x276mm; xvi+292 pages; 217 illustrations; 33 tables (119 colour plates). French text with English summary and foreword (Print RRP £60.00). 54 2018 Paris Monographs in American Archaeology 50. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784919092. £60.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784919108. Book contents pageDownload

In a cultural area where geography conspires against ease of exchange, Mesoamerican societies discovered technical answers adapted to their needs. At a time when the exchange of merchandise and goods relied mainly on human transport, some civilizations turned to a mystical aquatic environment: lakes. This research focuses on the practice of lake navigation and specific facilities that are associated with it. Due to the need for a wholistic approach, this research is situated in a multidisciplinary framework that combines archaeology, ethnology and ethnohistory. Its primary objective is to elaborate the framework of a new research field from the analytical and systematic study of a corpus of eclectic data, about the exploitation of water as a means of transport.

In Mesoamerica, the greatest concentration of lake systems lies in the Mexican highlands. However, only the Mexico and Pátzcuaro Basin were converted into real political economic and cultural centres, with the emergence of the Mexica Empire and Tarascan State in the Late Postclassic period (1350-1521). Why then do archaeologists, ethnologists and historians persist in ignoring the true importance of navigation in their study of the formation and organization of these two civilizations? To what extent can we extract, from the study of boats and lake installations, data that can open new research perspectives?

French description: Dans une aire culturelle où la géographie conspire contre la fluidité des échanges, les sociétés mésoaméricaines ont su trouver des réponses techniques adaptées à leurs besoins. À une époque où l’acheminement de marchandises et de biens s’effectue principalement à dos d’homme, certaines civilisations vont se tourner vers un milieu aquatique mythique : les lacs. Ce travail de recherche s’intéresse donc à la pratique de la navigation lacustre et aux installations spécifiques qui lui sont associées. De par la nécessité d’une approche transversale, ce sujet se positionne dans un cadre pluridisciplinaire, entremêlant archéologie, ethnohistoire et ethnologie. Son objectif premier est de délimiter le cadre d’un nouveau champ de recherche à partir d’une étude analytique et systématique d’un corpus de données éclectiques, autour de l’exploitation d’un mode de transport aquatique.

En Mésoamérique, c’est dans les hautes terres mexicaines que seuls les lacs des Bassins de Mexico et de Pátzcuaro ont été convertis en de véritables centres politiques, économiques et culturels à l’origine de l’émergence de l’Empire mexica et du Royaume tarasque à la période Postclassique (1350-1521). Pourquoi archéologues, historiens et ethnologues continuent donc d’ignorer la véritable importance de la navigation dans l’étude de la formation et de l’organisation de ces deux civilisations ? Dans quelle mesure les données que nous pourrons extraire de l’étude des embarcations et des installations lacustres peuvent-elles ouvrir de nouvelles perspectives de recherches ?
Tell Barri/Kahat (al Hassake) Taken from A History of Syria in One Hundred Sites by Raffaella Pierobon Benoit. Pages 304-308.Download

Tell Barri is located in western Jazira, on the left bank of the river JaghJagh, a tributary of the Habur. The river was fully navigable in antiquity and permitted easy communications as far as the Euphrates. The river supplied water, used not only for drinking but for crops and artisanal activities; cuneiform tablets provide evidence that fishing was also practised. This part of the Jazira was, in any case, favourable to settlements thanks to sufficient rainfall for the development of semi-arid agriculture. Its products, especially grains, combined with intense animal husbandry, notably sheep, formed the mixed economy that seems to have characterized all phases of the life of the site. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Tell el-Kerkh (Idlib) Taken from A History of Syria in One Hundred Sites by Akira Tsuneki. Pages 61-64.Download

Tell el-Kerkh is a large tell-complex located in the south of the Rouj Basin, Idlib province. It was occupied for long periods from the Neolithic to the Byzantine, however we concentrated our excavations on the Neolithic period. It is the oldest Neolithic settlement in northwest Syria, dating back to the middle of the 9th millennium BC. Therefore, the site provided us with data on how farming villages appeared in this region. Based on the excavated plant remains and animal bones, the subsistence of the people who first settled at Tell el-Kerkh seemed to follow the path from hunter-gatherers to farmer-herders. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
‘Metal makes the wheel go round’: the development and diffusion of studded-tread wheels in the Ancient Near East and the Old World Chapter 18 from ΑΘΥΡΜΑΤΑ: Critical Essays on the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honour of E. Susan Sherratt by Simone Mühl. Pages 159-176.Download

As emphasized by the image on the cover of Stuart Piggott’s book Ancient Europe (1965), the wheel is, perhaps, one of humanity’s greatest inventions. The ingenuity and simplicity of its idea and the forms we know today are the result of a long process that involved several stages of construction, testing and cumulative improvement. Developments in wheel technology were, of course, related to the emergence of different categories of vehicles – including different forms of carts, wagons, or chariots – each representing a response to changing needs in agriculture, elite representation and warfare. One of these modifications was the ‘studded-tread wheel’ and this will form the focus of this paper.

This paper is taken from ΑΘΥΡΜΑΤΑ: Critical Essays on the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honour of E. Susan Sherratt edited by Yannis Galanakis, Toby Wilkinson and John Bennet, Archaeopress 2014. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
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