Bronze Age Europe Celt Etruscan Mycenaean Anatolian Minoan Greek Aegean Artifact

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,288) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 124657257436 Bronze Age Europe Celt Etruscan Mycenaean Anatolian Minoan Greek Aegean Artifact. The Bronze Age in Europe by Jean-Pierre Mohen and Christiane Eluere. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title.DESCRIPTION: Softcover: 160 pages. Publisher: Discoveries; (2000). Size: 7 x 5 inches; 3/4 pounds. Achilles, Odysseus, and other heroes of Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” fought with shields and swords of bronze. What was the world like in those mythic days, when the rival Greek cities of Troy and Mycenae battled for supremacy, and far to the west, unknown engineers raised the megaliths of Stonehenge? What do we know of even earlier times, when the settled peoples of Europe first replaced their crude stone tools with those made of refined metal, and crafted ornaments of beaten copper and gold? Archaeologists date the Bronze Age in Europe from about the fifth to the first millennium B.C. That span of time witnessed dramatic changes in civilizations from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, and from Scandinavia to the Aegean. The discovery of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, was a remarkable technological development, permitting the casting of much stronger tools and weapons. Across Europe the peoples of the Bronze Age forged metal and traded its products, raised monolithic standing stones, practiced similar funerary and religious rites, and decorated their products with the same motifs and symbols. From Cretan palaces to Swiss lakeside dwellings, a common culture arose. As they explore the epic of the Bronze Age, archaeologists Jean-Pierre Mohen and Christiane Eluere take us back beyond the borders of history. CONDITION: NEW. New softcover. Harry N. Abrams (2000) 160 pages. Unblemished except for very faint (almost imperceptible) edge and corner shelf wear to the covers. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #2071i. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: Co-Author Jean-Pierre Mohen, director of the research laboratory of the French National Museum since 1992, has curated numerous exhibitions at the Grand Palais in Paris (Scythian Gold in 1975; Treasures of the Celtic Princes in 1987; The Vikings in 1992) and was the commissioner for the French Year of Archaeology in 1989-90. His published works include “The World of the Megaliths”, “La Metallurgie Prehistorique”, and “Megaliths: Stones of Memory”. From 1987 to 1992 Mohen was director of the Musee des Antiquites Nationale, St.-Germain-en-Laye, France.Co-Author Christiane Eluere, chief curator of the French National Museums, was responsible for the Bronze Age collection of the Musee des Antiquites Nationale, St.-Germain-en-Laye. Her publications include “L’Or des Celtes”, “Secrets de L’or Antique”; and “The Celts: Conquerors of Ancient Europe”. Contents/Chapter Headings of “The Bronze Age in Europe” includes: 1) Did the Bronze Age Exist? 2) The First Uses of Metal. 3) Mycenaeans in the Heart of Europe? 4) From Forces of Nature to the Birth of Mythology. 5) The High Bronze Age: A Time of Upheaval? 6) Documents. 7) Chronology. 8) Further Reading. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: This riveting work of ancient history is an illustrated tour of European culture from the third to the first millennium BC, when the development of bronze and its use in tools and weapons led to dramatic advances in civilization and technology. The Bronze Age in Europe saw major changes in civilizations. In this work, the authors take readers back beyond the borders of history to look at this period of time. REVIEW: Well-written, loaded with information, and with a rich assortment of illustrations, each Discoveries "RM" volume is a look at one facet of art, archaeology, music, history, philosophy, popular culture, science, or nature. These innovatively designed, affordably priced, compact paperbacks bring ideas to life and amplify our understanding of civilization in a new way. READER REVIEW: REVIEW: A surprisingly good introduction and overview of Bronze Age Europe and its artifacts. It is well illustrated book. The text is written at an introductory level, good for those with no prior knowledge of Bronze Age art. Many have taken courses in world history that begin with classical Greece and gloss over the accomplishments of the rest of Europe especially during the thousands of years before the time of classical Greece. If that was the case for you this book is much needed on your bookshelf. Acquaint yourself with the technical and artistic accomplishments of the Bronze Age. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: History of Bronze: Bronze is the name given to a wide range of alloys of copper, typically mixed in ancient times with zinc, tin, lead, or arsenic. The discovery of bronze enabled people to create metal objects which were better than previously possible. Tools, weapons, armor, and building materials made of bronze were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors from the “Chalcolithic” (the “Copper Age”), i.e., about 7000-3500 B.C., and the Neolithic (“New Stone Age”), i.e. about 12000 to 7000 B.C.). Of particular practical significance were bronze agricultural implements, tools for cutting stone, and weapons. On the other hand, of particular cultural significance was bronze statuary, particularly that of the Romans and Greeks. The ancient Greeks and Romans had a long history of making statuary in bronze. Literally thousands of images of gods and heroes, victorious athletes, statesmen, and philosophers filled temples and sanctuaries, and stood in the public areas of major cities. In fact, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Colossus of Rhodes are two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Initially bronze was made out of copper and arsenic. It was only later that tin was used, becoming (except in ancient Egypt) the sole type of bronze in the late 3rd millennium B.C. Tin-alloyed bronze was superior to arsenic-alloyed bronze in that the alloying process itself could more easily be controlled, the alloy was stronger and easier to cast, and unlike arsenic, tin is not toxic. Toxicity was a major factor in the production of arsenic bronze. Repeated exposure to arsenic fumes ultimately led to nerve damage in the limbs. Evidence of the long agony of Bronze Age metalsmiths came down to the ancient Greeks and Romans in the form of legend, as the Greek and Roman gods of metalsmiths, Greek Hephaestus and Roman Vulcan, were both lame. In practice historical bronze alloys are highly variable in composition, as most metalworkers probably used whatever scrap was to hand. In one instance of ancient bronze from Britain, analysis showed the bronze to contain a mixture of copper, zinc, tin, lead, nickel, iron, antimony, arsenic, and silver. Other advantages of bronze over iron include that bronze better resists corrosion, particularly seawater corrosion; bronze resists metal fatigue better than iron; and bronze is a better heat conductor (and thus is better suited for cooking vessels). However ancient bronze, unless conserved properly, is susceptible to “bronze disease”, wherein hydrochloric or hydrosulfuric acid is formed due to impurities (cuprous chloride or sulfur) found within the ancient bronze. Traditionally archaeology has maintained that the earliest bronze was produced by the Maikop, a proto-Indo-European, proto-Celtic culture of Caucasus prehistory around 3500 B.C. Recent evidence however suggests that the smelting of bronze might be as much as several thousand years older (bronze artifacts dating from about 4500 B.C. have been unearthed in Thailand). Shortly after the emergence of bronze technology in the Caucasus region, bronze technology emerged in ancient Mesopotamia (Sumer), Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization of Northern India, the Aegean, the Caspian Steppes (Ukraine), the Southern Russia/Central Mongolia Region (the Altai Mountains), the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean), Anatolia (Turkey) and the Iranian Plateau. By the late third millennium B.C. many Western European Bronze Age Cultures had emerged. Some of the more notable were the Celtic cultures of Middle Europe stretching from Hungary to Poland and Germany, including the Urnfield, Lusatian, and (Iron Age Transitional) Hallstatt Cultures. The Shang in ancient China also developed a significant Bronze Age culture, noted for large bronze burial urns. The ancient Chinese were the first to cast bronze (using the “lost wax” technique) about 2200 B.C. Prior to that time all bronze items were forged. Though weapons and utilitarian items were produced in great numbers, the production of bronze in ancient China was especially noteworthy for ornamented ritualistic/religious vessels (urns, wine vessels, water pots, food containers, and musical instruments), many of immense size. Britain’s Bronze Age cultures included the Beaker, Wessex, Deverl, and Rimbury. Copper and tin ores are rarely found together, so the production of bronze has always involved trade. Cornwall was one of the most significant sources of tin not only for Britain, but exported throughout the Mediterranean. Other significant suppliers of tine were the Taurus Mountains of Anatolia (Turkey), as well as Spain. Enormous amounts of copper was produced from the Great Orme mine in North Wales, the island of Cyprus, the European Alps, and from the Sinai Peninsula and other nearby sites in the Levant. Though much of the raw minerals may have come from Britain, Spain, Anatolia, and the Sinai, it was the Aegean world which controlled the trade in bronze. The great seafaring Minoan Empire (about 2700 to 1450 B.C.) appears to have controlled, coordinated, and defended the trade. Tin and charcoal were imported into Cyprus, where locally mined copper was mined and alloyed with the tin from Britain. Indicative of the seafaring trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, a shipwreck from about 1300 B.C. off the Turkish coast revealed a ship carrying a ton of copper ingots, several dozen small tin ingots, new bronze tools, scrap metal, and a blacksmith's forge and tools (along with luxury trade goods from Africa). It appears that the Bronze Age collapsed with the fall of Minoan Empire, to be replaced by a Dark Age and the eventual rise of the Iron Age Myceneans (on mainland Greece). Evidence suggests that the precipitating event might have been the eruption of Thera (Santorini) and the ensuing tsunami, which was only about 40 miles north of Crete, the capital of the Minoan empire. Some archaeologists argue that it was Santorini itself which was the capitol city of the Minoan World. However where Crete or Santorini, it is known that the bread-basket of the Minoan trading empire, the area north of the Black Sea lost population, and thereafter many Minoan colony/client-states lost large populations to extreme famines or pestilence. Inasmuch as the Minoans were the principals of the tin/copper shipping network throughout the Mediterranean, the Bronze Age trade network is believed to have failed. The end of the Bronze Age and the rise of the Iron Age is normally associated with the disturbances created by large population disruptions in the 12th century B.C. The end of the Bronze Age saw the emergence of new technologies and civilizations which included the large-scale production of iron (and limited scale production of steel). Although iron was in many respects much inferior to bronze (and steel was inefficiently produced in very limited quantities), iron had the advantage that it could be produced using local resources during the dark ages that followed the Minoan collapse, and was very inexpensive when compared to the cost of producing bronze. Bronze was still a superior metal, resisting both corrosion and metal fatigue better than iron. And bronze was still used during the Iron Age, but for many purposes the weaker iron was sufficiently strong to serve in its place. As an example, Roman officers were equipped with bronze swords while foot soldiers had to make do with iron blades. Pliny the Elder, the famous first century Roman historian and naturalist, wrote about the reuse of scrap bronze and copper in Roman foundries, noting that the metals were recast as armor, weapons or articles for personal use, such as bronze mirrors. The melting and recasting foundries were located at the Italian port city of Brindisi. Located on the Adriatic coast, Brindisi was the terminus of the great Appian Way, the Roman road constructed to facilitate trade and military access throughout the Italian part of the Roman Empire. The city was the gateway for Roman penetration into the eastern parts of her empire (Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea Region, the Danubian Provinces, and eventually Mesopotamia). Bronze Age Archaeology in Cyprus: An excavation in Cyprus’ ancient harbor town of Hala Sultan Tekke has uncovered a late Bronze Age tomb and an associated pit filled with precious artifacts imported from Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, and Anatolia. Led by Peter Fischer of the University of Gothenburg, the excavators from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition recovered the remains of eight infants and nine adults who may have been family members. The researchers think the pit may have served as a way to present objects, such as a diadem, pearls, earrings, gold scarabs, and pottery decorated with religious symbols, to the deceased without reopening the tomb. “In the late Bronze age period in Cyprus, people tended to be buried inside their houses rather than in cemeteries. No cemeteries from the period have been found so far, so this could be quite an exciting find in that respect,” Fischer said in an International Business Times report. [Archaeological Institute of America]. Bronze Age Celts: The ancient Celts were various population groups living in several parts of Europe north of the Mediterranean region from the Late Bronze Age onwards. Given the name Celt by ancient writers, these tribes often migrated and so eventually occupied territories from Portugal to Turkey. Although diverse tribes the ancient Celts spoke the same language and maintained the same artistic tradition which is characterised by the use of idiosyncratic flowing lines and forms. Celtic languages are still spoken today in parts of the British Isles and northern France. Ancient writers gave the name Celts to various population groups living across central Europe inland from the Mediterranean coastal areas. Most scholars agree that the Celtic culture first appeared in the Late Bronze Age in the area of the upper Danube sometime around the 13th century B.C. These early Celts were known as the ‘Urnfield people’ and they probably spoke a proto-Celtic language. By the 8th century B.C., iron had replaced bronze-working and the cultural group is then referred to by scholars as the ‘Hallstatt culture’. Spain saw a similar development with tribes using iron weapons. The Hallstatt culture declined by the 5th century B.C., perhaps due to internal political tensions and economic difficulties. The next phase of Celtic development was carried out by a group known as the La Tène culture. Ancient Egyptian Beads in a Danish Bronze Age Burial: The chemical composition of 23 glass beads unearthed in Denmark was examined with plasma-spectrometry, and compared with the trace elements found in beads from Amarna in Egypt and Nippur in Mesopotamia. One of the beads, made of blue glass, had come from a woman’s Bronze Age burial that was excavated in 1880 at the Ølby site. She had been buried in a hollowed-out oak trunk wearing a belt disc, a string skirt with small bronze tubes, a bracelet made of amber beads, and a single blue glass bead. Science Nordic reports that the research team, made up of scientists from Moesgaard Museum, the National Museum of Denmark, Aarhus University, and the Institut de Recherche sur les Archéomatériaux in Orléans, France, matched this bead’s chemical signature to beads made 3,400 years ago in an Egyptian workshop. They now think that Egyptian glass beads, perhaps symbolizing the Egyptian sun cult, traveled north from the Mediterranean on the amber route, which carried Nordic amber south. Amber and glass beads have been found together at sites in the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Germany. [Archaeological Institute of America]. Bronze Age Tomb in Thrace: The intact tomb of a Thracian warrior dating back some 5,000 years has been excavated in Turkey, the Istanbul Archaeology Museum announced. Experts are calling it the biggest archaeological find so far this year in Turkey—a country with many important archaeological sites. The kurgan tumulus is the first intact burial chamber of its kind ever found, says an article about the news in DailySabah.com. The dig on the kurgan started in December 2015 in Silivri in the Çanta region. Hurriyet Daily News says the tumulus was looted. However, looters had tried but failed to dig into the main burial chamber. The tumulus was likely that of a prominent Bronze Age warrior from northern areas. Researchers assume he was a warrior because they found a spear point in his grave, according to the First Istanbul Board for the Protection of Cultural Artifacts. Hurriyet Daily News says a kurgan is a burial mound constructed in a circle over a grave in a pit. Kurgan burials often have grave vessels, weapons and one body. “The type of tomb was originally used on the Russian steppes but later spread to eastern, central and northern Europe in the 3rd millennium B.C. The type of grave was holy in Turkic and Altay culture,” the article states. Professor Mehmet Özdoğan of Istanbul University Department of Archeology told Daily Sabah he has studied such tumuli before, but this discovery is important because it is the oldest one found in Thrace. It’s hoped the tomb will help shed light on historical mysteries about Thrace and help with studies about ancient Istanbul. Years ago, Özdoğan excavated another Thracian kurgan, from around 1200 B.C. in the village of Asılbeyli in Kırklareli in eastern Thrace, Daily Sabah says. “Thrace received migrations from the north. This is a kurgan-style tomb and such tombs exist in my studies, too,” Özdoğan told Hurriyet Daily News. “I know that lots of kurgan tombs have been destroyed in Thrace. We have rescued one of them from the digger. But this tomb is older and is from the Bronze Age. It is a very important discovery. I believe scientific examinations will lead to interesting results.” The Istanbul Archaeology Museum wants to register the grave as a historical site and place the remains of the warrior on exhibit in the museum. Kurgans are considered sacred burials in Turkic and Altaic cultures. People were buried in kurgans widely across central Asia and Eastern Europe. One of the most prominent historical figures buried in a kurgan was Philip II of Macedon—father of Alexander of Macedon. Philip was buried in Greece. The word kurgan is from an unknown Turkic language and in Turkish means “fortress,” says Daily Sabah. The practice of building kurgans for important people’s burials was done from the Copper Age, through the Bronze, Iron ages and into the Middle Ages, though it was not as popular during later times. The circular tomb chamber is 6 meters (19.7 feet) across and is inlaid with stones. The actual tomb itself is rectangular. The skeleton was on a stony floor in the fetal position, and his arms were placed to embrace his legs. Researchers say this may be either so he could enter the next world like a newborn or as a way to prevent him from rising from the dead. In addition to the spear point, which was on the body, archaeologists found two Bronze Age earthenware pots. Hurriyet called the point an arrowhead and added that it helped identify him as an important soldier or even a commander. There is a detailed study here about the Kurgan culture, which was widespread from Europe to Kazakhstan and up into Russia. The site says the Kurgan culture differs had common elements, including the distinctive burials, that differentiate it from other Bronze Age cultures in the regions where they overlapped. [AncientOrigins.Net]. Bronze Age Cycladic Sculpture: The Cycladic islands of the Aegean were first inhabited by voyagers from Asia Minor around 3000 B.C. and a certain prosperity was achieved thanks to the wealth of natural resources on the islands such as gold, silver, copper, obsidian and marble. This prosperity allowed for a flourishing of the arts and the uniqueness of Cycladic art is perhaps best illustrated by their clean-lined and minimalistic sculpture which is amongst the most distinctive art produced throughout the Bronze Age Aegean. These figurines were produced from 3000 B.C. until around 2000 B.C. when the islands became increasingly influenced by the Minoan civilization based on Crete. Small statuettes were sculpted from local coarse-grained marble and although different forms were produced, all share the same characteristics of being highly stylized with only the most general and prominent body features represented. The earliest examples were produced in the Neolithic period and were made until around 2500 B.C. Looking like violins they are in fact representations of a naked squatting woman. A later form, and perhaps influenced by contact with Asia, was the standing figure, most commonly female. Once again, these elegant figures are highly stylized with few details added and they continued to be produced until around 2000 B.C. They are naked, with arms folded across the chest (always with the right arm under the left) and the oval-shaped head tilted back with the only sculpted feature being the nose. Breasts, pubic area, fingers and toes are the only other features evidenced by simple inscribed lines. Over time the figures evolve slightly with a deeper line incised to demarcate the legs, the top of the head becomes more curved, knees are less bent, shoulders more angular and the arms are less fully crossed. The figures are most often around 30cm in height but miniature examples survive, as do life-size versions. The feet of the figures always point downwards and therefore they cannot stand upright on their own, leading to suggestions that they were either laid down or carried. Despite these general similarities it is, however, important to note that no two figurines are exactly alike, even when evidence suggests they come from the same workshop. Other figures include harp players seated on a throne or, more usually, a simple stool (of which there are fewer than a dozen surviving examples) and a standing pipe or aulos player from Keros circa 2500 B.C. In the same style as other Cycladic figures they are the first representations of musicians in sculpture from the Aegean. Most of the figures were sculpted from slim rectangular pieces of marble using an abrasive such as emery which is almost as hard as diamond and was available from the island of Naxos. Without doubt an extremely laborious process was involved but the end result was a piece with a finely polished sheen. There are on occasion surviving traces of color on some statues which was used to highlight details such as hair in red and black and facial features were also painted onto the sculpture such as eyes. Representations of the mouth, however, are very rare on Cycladic sculpture. A well-preserved figure now in the British Museum still has traces of eyes, a necklace and a diadem painted with small dots on the face and there are even some patterns over the body, hinting at a more colorful representation than most surviving figures suggest. Not only have figures been found all over the Cycladic islands but they were clearly also popular further afield on Crete, the Greek mainland and at Cnidus and Miletus in Anatolia. Both imported figurines and local copies have been discovered, some of the latter employing material not used by the original manufacturers such as ivory. The use of such a hard material and consequently the time needed to produce these pieces would suggest that they were of great significance in Cycladic culture (and not mere toys as some have suggested) but their exact purpose is unknown. Their most likely function is as some sort of religious idol and the predominance of female figures, sometimes pregnant, suggests a fertility deity. Supporting this view is the fact that figurines have been found outside of a burial context at settlements on Melos, Kea and Thera. Alternatively, precisely because the majority of figures have been found in graves, perhaps they were guardians to or representations of the deceased. Indeed, there have been some finds of painting materials along with figures in graves which would suggest that the painting process may have been a part of the burial ceremony. However, some of the larger figures are simply too large to fit into a grave and also puzzling is their variation in distribution. Although figurines are present across the Cycladic islands, some graves have contained as many as fourteen figures whilst on Syros for example, only six were found in 540 graves. Intriguingly, at the site of Dhaskalio Kavos on Keros there is evidence of a large quantity of figures deliberately broken. Were these smashed as part of a ritual or were they simply no longer seen as significant objects? Despite much scholarly endeavor then, there is still great mystery surrounding these statues and perhaps this is part of their appeal. One of the problems with Cycladic art is that it is very much a victim of its own success. Appreciated by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore in the 20th century A.D., a vogue for anything Cycladic arose which unfortunately resulted in the illegal traffic of looted goods from the Cyclades. The result is that many of the Cycladic art objects now in western museums have no provenance of any description, compounding the difficulties for scholars to ascertain their function in Cycladic culture. These objects are, nevertheless, part of the few tangible remains of a culture which no longer exists and without a form of writing the members of that culture are unable to explain for themselves the true significance of these objects and we are left to imagine the function and faces behind these enigmatic sculptures which continue to fascinate more than three millennia after their original manufacture. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. The Mycenaean “Griffin Warrior” I: The Incredible Treasures Found Inside the ‘Griffin Warrior’ Tomb. Why was a Mycenaean soldier buried with so many riches? Every archaeologist dreams of uncovering a trove of historically significant objects. Last spring, that dream became a reality for a team led by two University of Cincinnati scholars, who discovered the grave of a Bronze Age warrior in southwestern Greece. Now, as Nicholas Wade writes for the New York Times, the find has yielded intriguing treasures—and plenty of excitement from archaeologists. The gravesite was found within the ancient city of Pylos. It’s being called the richest tomb found in the region since the 1950s, Wade reports, for “the richness of its find and its potential for shedding light on the emergence of the Mycenaean civilization.” In a release, the University of Cincinnati lays out the wealth within the grave: bronze jugs; basins of bronze, silver and gold; four solid-gold rings; a bronze sword with an ivory hilt covered in gold; more than 1,000 beads of different gems; a gold-hilted dagger and much more. The entombed skeleton even has a nickname—the “Griffin Warrior”—in reference to an ivory plaque inscribed with a griffin found nearby. Though the burial objects suggest the Griffin Warrior was an important person, they also raise intriguing questions. “The discovery of so much jewelry with a male burial challenges the commonly held belief that these apparently ‘feminine’ adornments and offerings accompanied only wealthy women to the hereafter,” the excavation team says in the release. The find raises questions about the warrior’s culture, too. He was buried near a Mycenaean palace, but the artifacts within the grave are primarily Minoan. Mycenaeans lived in the region between the 15th and 13th centuries B.C., dominating the area with military might. Scholars believe the Mycenaeans borrowed greatly from Minoan culture—so much so that some studies of Mycenaean religion even lump the two together. Does the Griffin Warrior suggest a complex cultural interchange between the two civilizations? Archaeologists and historians will work to find answers, Wade writes, by piecing together evidence collected from the grave. And that’s a task researchers will gladly undertake. [Smithsonian.com]. The Mycenaean “Griffin Warrior” II: Gold Rings Found in Warrior’s Tomb Connect Two Ancient Greek Cultures. The Minoan Civilization flourished on the Island of Crete from around 2600 to 1200 B.C., building the foundation for classical Greek culture. The ancient Greece of ancient Greece, if you will, the people developed religious concepts, art and architecture that would go on to influence the whole of Western civilization. But their reign was believed to fall when the Mycenaean civilization, which developed on the Peloponnese Peninsula (and gave rise to the heroes of The Iliad), plundered the Minoans and absorbed some aspects of their civilization into their own culture. But the grave of a Mycenaean warrior uncovered last year in Pylos in the southwest of Greece may tell a different tale, reports Nicholas Wade at The New York Times. In May 2015, archaeologists Shari Stocker and Jack Davis from the University of Cincinnati uncovered the pristine warrior’s grave near the Palace of Nestor in Pylos. The body was that of a warrior in his mid-30s who died around 1500 B.C., Rachel Richardson writes for UC Magazine. Buried with him were some 2,000 objects, including silver cups, beads made of precious stones, ivory combs, a sword and four intricately decorated solid gold rings. The discovery of the man, dubbed the “Griffin Warrior” because of an ivory plaque decorated with the mythical beast found with him, offers evidence that Mycenaean culture recognized and appreciated Minoan culture more than previously believed, researchers outline in an article soon to be published in the journal Hesperia. Of particular interest are the man’s rings. They are made of multiple sheets of gold and depict very detailed scenes and iconography straight out of Minoan mythology. The rings probably come from Crete where they were used to place seals on documents or objects. The bull, a sacred symbol for Minoans, appears in two of the rings and the Griffin Warrior was buried with a bronze bull’s head staff. After a year of examining the treasures, Stocker and Davis believe the Mycenaeans, or at least the ones who buried the Griffin warrior, weren’t just pillaging the Minoans for their pretty jewelry. They were exchanging ideas and directly adopting aspects of Minoan culture. They also argue that the Minoan goods and iconography were treated like symbols of political power. “People have suggested that the findings in the grave are treasure, like Blackbeard’s treasure, that was just buried along with the dead as impressive contraband,” Davis tells Richardson. “We think that already in this period the people on the mainland already understood much of the religious iconography on these rings, and they were already buying into religious concepts on the island of Crete.” He believes the society that buried the Griffin Warrior was knee-deep in Minoan culture. “Whoever they are, they are the people introducing Minoan ways to the mainland and forging Mycenaean culture. They were probably dressing like Minoans and building their houses according to styles used on Crete, using Minoan building techniques,” he says. Cynthia W. Shelmerdine of the University of Texas, an expert on the Bronze Age in the Aegean, tells Wade that she agrees that the Minoan rings and other objects found in the grave represent political power in the Griffin Warrior’s culture. “These things clearly have a power connection…[and] fits with other evidence that the elites on the mainland are increasingly closely connected to the elites on Crete whether or not the rings were used in the Minoan way for sealing objects.” Wade says while the Mycenaean culture adapted many aspects of the Minoans, their direct connection to and memory of that society faded over time and mainly survived in some of the myths they collected from Crete. The researchers will publicly debut the rings and other objects from the excavation during a lecture this upcoming Thursday. [Smithsonian.com]. The Mycenaean “Griffin Warrior” III: Rare Unlooted Grave of Wealthy Warrior Uncovered in Greece. Archaeologists hail the burial, untouched for 3,500 years, as the biggest discovery on mainland Greece in decades. Archaeologists discovered more than 1,400 artifacts in the grave, including a gold necklace more than 30 inches long. The warrior was buried with an array of gold jewelry, including four gold rings. Archaeologists believe most of the precious objects came from Crete. Archaeologists were surprised to discover artifacts usually associated with women, including a hand mirror and six ivory combs. A carnelian seal stone about the size of a quarter is one of four dozen seal stones buried with the warrior. The bull motif testifies to the influence of the Minoans, who revered bulls, on the later Mycenaeans. Bronze weapons found within the tomb included a three-foot-long sword with an ivory handle covered in gold. A text message from the trench supervisor to archaeologists Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker was succinct: “Better come. Hit bronze.” The excavators exploring a small stone shaft on a rocky promontory in southern Greece had found an unusual tomb of an ancient warrior. The burial may hold important clues to the origin of Greek civilization some 3,500 years ago. Along with the well-preserved skeleton of a man in his early thirties, the grave contains more than 1,400 objects arrayed on and around the body, including gold rings, silver cups, and an elaborate bronze sword with an ivory hilt. More surprising were 50 stone seals intricately carved with goddesses, lions, and bulls, as well as a half-dozen delicate ivory combs, a bronze mirror, and some 1,000 carnelian, amethyst, and jasper beads once strung together as necklaces. Between the man’s legs lay an ivory plaque carved with a griffin. “Not since Schliemann have complete burials of this type been found in Greece,” says John Bennet, an archaeologist at the University of Sheffield in Britain and director of the British School at Athens, who is not involved with the dig. In the late 19th century, archaeological pioneer Heinrich Schliemann excavated Troy and Mycenae, the major Greek center from about 1600 B.C. to 1100 B.C. The grave is located at the southwest end of the Peloponnese peninsula at Pylos, a place mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey as the site of King Nestor’s palace with its “lofty halls.” Excavations before and after World War II revealed remnants of a large Mycenaean palace dating to about 1300 B.C., as well as hundreds of clay tablets written in the Linear B script developed on Crete, an island about 100 miles offshore. Those texts led to the translation of Linear B, and confirmed the identity of Pylos. But little is known about the earlier period around 1500 B.C., when Mycenaean society was taking shape. Archaeologists have long debated the influence of Minoan civilization, which began to flourish in Crete around 2500 B.C., on the rise of Mycenaean society a thousand years later. Linear B tablets, bull horn symbols, and goddess figurines found at Mycenaean sites like Pylos attest to the impact of Minoan culture. Based on archaeological evidence of destruction, many scholars believe that the Mycenaeans invaded and conquered Crete around 1450 B.C. In May, Davis and Stocker, a husband-and-wife team from the University of Cincinnati, assembled 35 experts from 10 nations to begin a five-year project aimed at uncovering Pylos’ beginnings. They hit pay dirt on the first day, when workers clearing a field spotted a rectangle of stones that proved to be the top of a four-foot by eight-foot shaft. Three feet down, the excavators spotted the first bronze artifacts. Based on their style, Davis and Stocker are confident that the remains date to about 1500 B.C. “To find an unrobbed and rich Mycenaean tomb is very rare,” says Cynthia Shelmerdine, a classics professor at the University of Texas at Austin who visited the site during the summer’s excavations. “This one shows us some things we would not have anticipated.” What’s peculiar about the tomb is that it contains only a single person and includes a remarkable wealth of mostly foreign objects, as well as artifacts typically associated with women. Resting places for the Mycenaean elite usually include many individuals. Just 100 yards from the new find, archaeologists excavated such a group tomb in the 1950s. Davis and Stocker estimate that three-quarters of the finished grave goods in the warrior’s shaft come from Crete—a two-day’s sail to the south—rather than from local sources. There are also amber beads from the Baltic, amethyst from the Middle East, and carnelian that may originate in Egypt that might have been brought to Crete by Minoan traders. “The range and number of Minoan or Minoan-style artifacts in this tomb should greatly deepen our knowledge about the extent of this relationship,” says Shelmerdine. The presence of beads, combs, and a mirror in a warrior’s tomb poses a puzzle. “The discovery of so much precious jewelry with a male warrior-leader challenges the commonly-held belief that jewelry was buried only with wealthy females,” says Stocker. She adds that Spartan warriors ritually combed their hair before battle, while Davis suggests that the jewelry may have been offerings to the goddess from the dead man on his journey to the underworld. Who Was This Wealthy Warrior? The unusual nature of the Pylos tomb could mean that he was a Minoan warrior or leader, rather than a native Mycenaean. Alternatively, he may have fought in Crete and brought back plunder or developed a taste for Minoan goods. Or he may have been a Mycenaean leader who wanted to establish a new tradition. What’s clear, the archaeologists say, is that he didn’t want to be associated with the group tombs that were the norm for locals both before and after his death. Skeletal analysis that may help the team pinpoint his identity will soon get under way, says Stocker. The well-preserved teeth could reveal his genetic background, while examination of the pelvis area may tell researchers about his diet. Studying the bones also may help determine the cause of death. Stocker and Davis will close up the tomb in coming weeks to concentrate on analyzing their many finds. [National Geographic (2015)]. Bronze Age Mesopotamia: The following period is known as the “Early Bronze Age” which lasted from about 3000 through 2119 BC. During this period bronze supplanted copper as the material from which tools and weapons were made. The Early Bronze Age included the “Early Dynastic Period”, which lasted from about 2900 through 2334 BC. Within this period all of the advances of the Uruk Period were developed. Cities and government in general stabilized. Increased prosperity in the region gave rise to ornate temples and statuary, sophisticated pottery and figurines. This period also witness the development of toys for children, including dolls for girls and wheeled carts for boys. As well the use of personal seals became widesporead. Known as “cylinder seals” the imprint they created denoted ownership of property stood for an individual’s signature. Cylinder seals would be comparable to one's modern-day identification card or driver's license. In fact the loss or theft of one's seal would have been every bit as significant as modern-day identity theft or losing one's credit cards. The rise of the city-state laid the foundation for economic and political stability which would eventually lead to the rise of the Akkadian Empire during the time period between 2334 and 2218 BC. This period gave rise to the rapid growth of the cities of Akkad and Mari, two of the most prosperous urban centers of the time. The cultural stability necessary for the creation of art in the region resulted in more intricate designs in architecture and sculpture. It also fostered a number of specific and momentous inventions including the plow, the wheel, the chariot, the sailboat, and as described above, the cylinder-seal. The cylinder seal became the single most distinctive art form of ancient Mesopotamia. The cylinder seal also evolved into a pervasive demonstration of the importance of property ownership and business in the country’s daily life. During the pertiod the Akkadian Empire of Sargon the Great was the first multi-national realm in the world. Sargon's daughter, Enheduanna, who lived from 2285 to 2250 BC, was the first author of literary works known by name. The library at Mari contained over 20,000 cuneiform tablets (books) and the palace there was considered one of the grandest in the region. The next period was the “Middle Bronze Age”, which lasted from 2119 to about 1700 BC. The period was noteworthy for the expansion of two kingdoms. The first was the Assyrian Kingdoms, including the cities of Assur, Nimrud, Sharrukin, Dur, and Nineveh. The second was the rise of the Babylonian Dynasty, centered in Babylon and Chaldea. The expansion of these two kingdoms created an atmosphere which not only stimulated trade, but with it, increasingly conducive conditions for warfare. The Guti Tribe were fierce nomads who succeeded in toppling the Akkadian Empire. They dominated the politics of Mesopotamia until they were defeated by the allied forces of the kings of Sumer. Hammurabi, King of Babylon from 1792 to 1750 BC, rose from relative obscurity to conquer the region and reign for 43 years. Among his many accomplishments was his famous code of laws, inscribed on the stele of the gods. Babylon became a leading centre at this time for intellectual pursuit and high accomplishment in arts and letters. This cultural centre was not to last, however, and was sacked and looted by the Hittites who were then succeeded by the Kassites. The next period was known as the “Late Bronze Age”, which lasted from about 1700 to 1100 BC. The rise of the Kassite Dynasty leads to a shift in power and an expansion of culture and learning after the Kassites conquered Babylon. The Kassites were a tribe who came from the Zagros Mountains in the north, and are thought to have originated in modern-day Iran. The collapse of the Bronze Age followed the discovery of how to mine ore and make use of iron. This was a technology which the Kassites and, earlier, the Hittites made singular use of in warfare. The period also saw the beginning of the decline of Babylonian culture due to the rise in power of the Kassites until they were defeated by the Elamites and driven out. After the Elamites gave way to the Aramaeans, the small Kingdom of Assyria began a series of successful military expansionist campaigns. The Assyrian Empire became firmly established and prospered under Tiglath-Pileser I who ruled from 1115 to 1076 BC. After him came Ashurnasirpal II, who ruled from 884 to 859 BC and consolidated the empire further. Most Mesopotamian states were either destroyed or weakened following the Bronze Age Collapse around 1250 though 1150 BC. This collapse led to a brief "dark age". Bronze Age Egypt: The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, during the Ramesside period, where it rivaled the Hittite Empire, Assyrian Empire and Mitanni Empire, after which it entered a period of slow decline. Egypt was invaded or conquered by a succession of foreign powers, such as the Canaanites/Hyksos, Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, Babylonians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians in the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period of Egypt. In the aftermath of Alexander the Great's death, one of his generals, Ptolemy Soter, established himself as the new ruler of Egypt. This Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom ruled Egypt until 30 B.C., when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province. The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to defeat foreign enemies and assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs. The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites. Egypt left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy. The Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human history. The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the history of human civilization. Nomadic modern human hunter-gatherers began living in the Nile valley through the end of the Middle Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became increasingly hot and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river region. In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid than it is today. Large regions of Egypt were covered in treed savanna and traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians, and this is also the period when many animals were first domesticated. By about 5500 B.C., small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, and identifiable by their pottery and personal items, such as combs, bracelets, and beads. The largest of these early cultures in upper (Southern) Egypt was the Badari, which probably originated in the Western Desert; it was known for its high quality ceramics, stone tools, and its use of copper. The Badari was followed by the Amratian (Naqada I) and Gerzeh (Naqada II) cultures, which brought a number of technological improvements. As early as the Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. In Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with the Near East, particularly Canaan and the Byblos coast. Over a period of about 1,000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Hierakonpolis, and later at Abydos, Naqada III leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile. They also traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East to the east. Royal Nubian burials at Qustul produced artifacts bearing the oldest-known examples of Egyptian dynastic symbols, such as the white crown of Egypt and falcon. The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary, painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, and jewelry made of gold, lapis, and ivory. They also developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, which was used well into the Roman Period to decorate cups, amulets, and figurines. During the last predynastic phase, the Naqada culture began using written symbols that eventually were developed into a full system of hieroglyphs for writing the ancient Egyptian language. The Early Dynastic Period was approximately contemporary to the early Sumerian-Akkadian civilization of Mesopotamia and of ancient Elam. The third-century B.C. Egyptian priest Manetho grouped the long line of pharaohs from Menes to his own time into 30 dynasties, a system still used today. He chose to begin his official history with the king named "Meni" (or Menes in Greek) who was believed to have united the two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt (around 3100 B.C.). The transition to a unified state happened more gradually than ancient Egyptian writers represented, and there is no contemporary record of Menes. Some scholars now believe, however, that the mythical Menes may have been the pharaoh Narmer, who is depicted wearing royal regalia on the ceremonial Narmer Palette, in a symbolic act of unification. In the Early Dynastic Period about 3150 B.C., the first of the Dynastic pharaohs solidified control over lower Egypt by establishing a capital at Memphis, from which he could control the labor force and agriculture of the fertile delta region, as well as the lucrative and critical trade routes to the Levant. The increasing power and wealth of the pharaohs during the early dynastic period was reflected in their elaborate mastaba tombs and mortuary cult structures at Abydos, which were used to celebrate the deified pharaoh after his death. The strong institution of kingship developed by the pharaohs served to legitimize state control over the land, labor, and resources that were essential to the survival and growth of ancient Egyptian civilization. Major advances in architecture, art, and technology were made during the Old Kingdom, fueled by the increased agricultural productivity and resulting population, made possible by a well-developed central administration. Some of ancient Egypt's crowning achievements, the Giza pyramids and Great Sphinx, were constructed during the Old Kingdom. Under the direction of the vizier, state officials collected taxes, coordinated irrigation projects to improve crop yield, drafted peasants to work on construction projects, and established a justice system to maintain peace and order. Along with the rising importance of a central administration arose a new class of educated scribes and officials who were granted estates by the pharaoh in payment for their services. Pharaohs also made land grants to their mortuary cults and local temples, to ensure that these institutions had the resources to worship the pharaoh after his death. Scholars believe that five centuries of these practices slowly eroded the economic power of the pharaoh, and that the economy could no longer afford to support a large centralized administration. As the power of the pharaoh diminished, regional governors called nomarchs began to challenge the supremacy of the pharaoh. This, coupled with severe droughts between 2200 and 2150 B.C., is assumed to have caused the country to enter the 140-year period of famine and strife known as the First Intermediate Period. After Egypt's central government collapsed at the end of the Old Kingdom, the administration could no longer support or stabilize the country's economy. Regional governors could not rely on the king for help in times of crisis, and the ensuing food shortages and political disputes escalated into famines and small-scale civil wars. Yet despite difficult problems, local leaders, owing no tribute to the pharaoh, used their new-found independence to establish a thriving culture in the provinces. Once in control of their own resources, the provinces became economically richer—which was demonstrated by larger and better burials among all social classes. In bursts of creativity, provincial artisans adopted and adapted cultural motifs formerly restricted to the royalty of the Old Kingdom, and scribes developed literary styles that expressed the optimism and originality of the period. Free from their loyalties to the pharaoh, local rulers began competing with each other for territorial control and political power. By 2160 B.C., rulers in Herakleopolis controlled Lower Egypt in the north, while a rival clan based in Thebes, the Intef family, took control of Upper Egypt in the south. As the Intefs grew in power and expanded their control northward, a clash between the two rival dynasties became inevitable. Around 2055 B.C. the northern Theban forces under Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II finally defeated the Herakleopolitan rulers, reuniting the Two Lands. They inaugurated a period of economic and cultural renaissance known as the Middle Kingdom. The pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom restored the country's prosperity and stability, thereby stimulating a resurgence of art, literature, and monumental building projects. Mentuhotep II and his Eleventh Dynasty successors ruled from Thebes, but the vizier Amenemhat I, upon assuming kingship at the beginning of the Twelfth Dynasty around 1985 B.C., shifted the nation's capital to the city of Itjtawy, located in Faiyum. From Itjtawy, the pharaohs of the Twelfth Dynasty undertook a far-sighted land reclamation and irrigation scheme to increase agricultural output in the region. Moreover, the military reconquered territory in Nubia that was rich in quarries and gold mines, while laborers built a defensive structure in the Eastern Delta, called the "Walls-of-the-Ruler", to defend against foreign attack. With the pharaohs' having secured military and political security and vast agricultural and mineral wealth, the nation's population, arts, and religion flourished. In contrast to elitist Old Kingdom attitudes towards the gods, the Middle Kingdom experienced an increase in expressions of personal piety and what could be called a democratization of the afterlife, in which all people possessed a soul and could be welcomed into the company of the gods after death. Middle Kingdom literature featured sophisticated themes and characters written in a confident, eloquent style. The relief and portrait sculpture of the period captured subtle, individual details that reached new heights of technical perfection. The last great ruler of the Middle Kingdom, Amenemhat III, allowed Semitic-speaking Canaanite settlers from the Near East into the delta region to provide a sufficient labor force for his especially active mining and building campaigns. These ambitious building and mining activities, however, combined with severe Nile floods later in his reign, strained the economy and precipitated the slow decline into the Second Intermediate Period during the later Thirteenth and Fourteenth dynasties. During this decline, the Canaanite settlers began to seize control of the delta region, eventually coming to power in Egypt as the Hyksos. Around 1785 B.C., as the power of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs weakened, a Western Asian people called the Hyksos had already settled in the Eastern Delta town of Avaris, seized control of Egypt, and forced the central government to retreat to Thebes. The pharaoh was treated as a vassal and expected to pay tribute. The Hyksos ("foreign rulers") retained Egyptian models of government and identified as pharaohs, thus integrating Egyptian elements into their culture. They and other invaders introduced new tools of warfare into Egypt, most notably the composite bow and the horse-drawn chariot. After their retreat, the native Theban kings found themselves trapped between the Canaanite Hyksos ruling the north and the Hyksos' Nubian allies, the Kushites, to the south of Egypt. After years of vassalage, Thebes gathered enough strength to challenge the Hyksos in a conflict that lasted more than 30 years, until 1555 B.C. The pharaohs Seqenenre Tao II and Kamose were ultimately able to defeat the Nubians to the south of Egypt, but failed to defeat the Hyksos. That task fell to Kamose's successor, Ahmose I, who successfully waged a series of campaigns that permanently eradicated the Hyksos' presence in Egypt. He established a new dynasty. In the New Kingdom that followed, the military became a central priority for the pharaohs seeking to expand Egypt's borders and attempting to gain mastery of the Near East. The New Kingdom pharaohs established a period of unprecedented prosperity by securing their borders and strengthening diplomatic ties with their neighbors, including the Mitanni Empire, Assyria, and Canaan. Military campaigns waged under Tuthmosis I and his grandson Tuthmosis III extended the influence of the pharaohs to the largest empire Egypt had ever seen. Between their reigns, Hatshepsut generally promoted peace and restored trade routes lost during the Hyksos occupation, as well as expanding to new regions. When Tuthmosis III died in 1425 B.C., Egypt had an empire extending from Niya in north west Syria to the fourth waterfall of the Nile in Nubia, cementing loyalties and opening access to critical imports such as bronze and wood. The New Kingdom pharaohs began a large-scale building campaign to promote the god Amun, whose growing cult was based in Karnak. They also constructed monuments to glorify their own achievements, both real and imagined. The Karnak temple is the largest Egyptian temple ever built. The pharaoh Hatshepsut used such hyperbole and grandeur during her reign of almost twenty-two years. Her reign was very successful, marked by an extended period of peace and wealth-building, trading expeditions to Punt, restoration of foreign trade networks, and great building projects, including an elegant mortuary temple that rivaled the Greek architecture of a thousand years later, a colossal pair of obelisks, and a chapel at Karnak. Despite her achievements, Amenhotep II, the heir to Hatshepsut's nephew-stepson Tuthmosis III, sought to erase her legacy near the end of his father's reign and throughout his, touting many of her accomplishments as his. He also tried to change many established traditions that had developed over the centuries, which some suggest was a futile attempt to prevent other women from becoming pharaoh and to curb their influence in the kingdom. Around 1350 B.C., the stability of the New Kingdom seemed threatened further when Amenhotep IV ascended the throne and instituted a series of radical and chaotic reforms. Changing his name to Akhenaten, he touted the previously obscure sun deity Aten as the supreme deity, suppressed the worship of most other deities, and attacked the power of the temple that had become dominated by the priests of Amun in Thebes, whom he saw as corrupt. Moving the capital to the new city of Akhetaten (modern-day Amarna), Akhenaten turned a deaf ear to events in the Near East (where the Hittites, Mitanni, and Assyrians were vying for control). He was devoted to his new religion and artistic style. After his death, the cult of the Aten was quickly abandoned, The priests of Amun soon regained power and returned the capital to Thebes. Under their influence the subsequent pharaohs Tutankhamun, Ay, and Horemheb worked to erase all mention of Akhenaten's heresy, now known as the Amarna Period. Around 1279 B.C., Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, ascended the throne, and went on to build more temples, erect more statues and obelisks, and sire more children than any other pharaoh in history. A bold military leader, Ramesses II led his army against the Hittites in the Battle of Kadesh (in modern Syria) and, after fighting to a stalemate, finally agreed to the first recorded peace treaty, around 1258 B.C. With both the Egyptians and Hittite Empire proving unable to gain the upper hand over one another, and both powers also fearful of the expanding Middle Assyrian Empire, Egypt withdrew from much of the Near East. The Hittites were thus left to compete unsuccessfully with the powerful Assyrians and the newly arrived Phrygians. Egypt's wealth, however, made it a tempting target for invasion, particularly by the Libyan Berbers to the west, and the Sea Peoples, a conjectured confederation of seafarers from the Aegean Sea. Initially, the military was able to repel these invasions, but Egypt eventually lost control of its remaining territories in southern Canaan, much of it falling to the Assyrians. The effects of external threats were exacerbated by internal problems such as corruption, tomb robbery, and civil unrest. After regaining their power, the high priests at the temple of Amun in Thebes accumulated vast tracts of land and wealth, and their expanded power splintered the country during the Third Intermediate Period. Bronze Age India: India is a country in South Asia whose name comes from the Indus River. The name 'Bharata' is used as a designation for the country in their constitution referencing the ancient mythological emperor, Bharata, whose story is told, in part, in the Indian epic Mahabharata. According to the writings known as the Puranas (religious/historical texts written down in the 5th century A.D.) Bharata conquered the whole subcontinent of India and ruled the land in peace and harmony. The land was, therefore, known as Bharatavarsha (`the subcontinent of Bharata’). Hominid activity in the Indian subcontinent stretches back over 250,000 years, and it is, therefore, one of the oldest inhabited regions on the planet. Archaeological excavations have discovered artifacts used by early humans, including stone tools, which suggest an extremely early date for human habitation and technology in the area. The areas of present-day India, Pakistan, and Nepal have provided archaeologists and scholars with the richest sites of the most ancient pedigree. The species Homo heidelbergensis (a proto-human who was an ancestor of modern Homo sapiens, first discovered in Germany in 1907) inhabited the subcontinent of India millennia before humans migrated into the region known today as Europe. Since it discoverythen, further discoveries have established fairly clear migration patterns of this species out of Africa. Archaeological excavations in India did not begin in earnest until the 1920s. Though the ancient city of Harappa was known to exist as early as 1842, its archaeological significance was ignored. Most archaeological excavations corresponded to an interest in locating the probable sites referred to in the great Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana (both of which originated in the 5th or 4th centuries B.C.) while ignoring the possibility of a much more ancient past for the region. To cite only one example, the village of Balathal (near Udaipur in Rajasthan), illustrates the antiquity of India’s history as it dates to 4000 B.C. Balathal was not discovered until 1962, and excavations were not begun there until the 1990s. It is now understood that significant human activity was underway in India by the Holocene Period (10,000 years ago) and that many historical assumptions based upon earlier work in Egypt and Mesopotamia, need to be reviewed and revised. Archaeological excavations in the past 50 years have dramatically changed the understanding of India’s past. A 4000-year-old skeleton discovered at Balathal in 2009 provides the oldest evidence of leprosy in India. Prior to this find, leprosy was considered a much younger disease thought to have been carried from Africa to India at some point and then from India to Europe by the army of Alexander the Great following his death in 323 B.C. The beginnings of the Vedic tradition in India, still practiced today, can now be dated, at least in part, to the indigenous people of ancient sites such as Balathal. The Indus Valley Civilization dates to 5000 B.C. and grew steadily throughout the lower Gangetic Valley region southwards and northwards to Malwa. The cities of this period were larger than contemporary settlements in other countries. They were situated according to cardinal points, and were built of mud bricks, often kiln-fired. Houses were constructed with a large courtyard opening from the front door, a kitchen/workroom for the preparation of food, and smaller bedrooms. Family activities seem to have centered on the front of the house, particularly the courtyard and, in this, are similar to what has been inferred from sites in Rome, Egypt, Greece, and Mesopotamia. The most famous sites of this period are the great cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa both located in present-day Pakistan (Mohenjo-Daro in the Sindh province and Harappa in Punjab). These sites were lost to India as a consequence of the 1947 partition of India which created Pakistan and Bengal. Harappa has given its name to the Harappan Civilization (another name for the Indus Valley Civilization) which is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Mature periods corresponding roughly to 5000-4000 B.C. (early), 4000-2900 B.C. (middle), and 2900-1900 B.C. (mature). Harappa dates from the iddle period (around 3000 B.C.) while Mohenjo-Daro was built in the mature period (around 2600 B.C.). The archaeological ruins of Harappa were largely destroyed in the 19th century when British workers carried away much of the city for use as ballast in constructing the railroad. However many ancient buildings had already been dismantled by citizens of the local village of Harappa (which gives the site its name) for use in their own projects. It is therefore now difficult to determine the historical significance of Harappa save that it is clear it was once a significant Bronze Age community with a population of as many as 30,000 people. Mohenjo-Daro, on the other hand, is much better preserved as it lay mostly buried until 1922 A.D. The name `Mohenjo-Daro’ means `mound of the dead’ in Sindhi. The original name of the city is unknown although various possibilities have been suggested by finds in the region, among them, the Dravidian name `Kukkutarma’, the city of the cock, a possible allusion to the site as a center of ritual cock-fighting or, perhaps, as a breeding center for cocks. Mohenjo-Daro was an elaborately constructed city with streets laid out evenly at right angles and a sophisticated drainage system. The Great Bath, a central structure at the site, was heated and seems to have been a focal point for the community. The citizens were skilled in the use of metals such as copper, bronze, lead, and tin (as evidenced by artworks such as the bronze statue of the Dancing Girl and by individual seals) and cultivated barley, wheat, peas, sesame, and cotton. Trade was an important source of commerce and it is thought that ancient Mesopotamian texts which mention Magan and Meluhha refer to India generally or, perhaps, Mohenjo-Daro specifically. Artifacts from the Indus Valley region have been found at sites in Mesopotamia though their precise point of origin in India is not always clear. The people of the Harappan Civilization worshipped many gods and engaged in ritual worship. Statues of various deities (such as Indra, the god of storm and war) have been found at many sites and, chief among them, terracotta pieces depicting the Shakti (the Mother Goddess) suggesting a popular, common worship of the feminine principle. In about 1500 B.C. it is believed that tribes of Aryan origin migrated into India through the Khyber Pass and assimilated into the existing culture, perhaps bringing their gods with them. While it is widely accepted that the Aryans brought the horse to India, there is some debate as to whether they introduced new deities to the region or simply influenced the existing belief structure. The Aryans are thought to have been pantheists (nature worshippers) with a special devotion to the sun and it seems uncertain they would have had anthropomorphic gods. At about this same time (around 1700-1500 B.C.) the Harappan culture began to decline. Scholars cite climate change as one possible reason. The Indus River is thought to have begun flooding the region more regularly (as evidenced by approximately 30 feet of silt at Mohenjo-Daro) and the great cities were abandoned. Other scholars believe the Aryan migration was more in the nature of an invasion which brought about a vast displacement of the populace. Among the most mysterious aspects of Mohenjo-Daro is the vitrification of parts of the site as though it had been exposed to intense heat which melted the brick and stone. This same phenomenon has been observed at sites such as Traprain Law in Scotland and attributed to the results of warfare. This fact has even been offered as “evidence” by some fringe theorists that the destruction of the city was caused by some kind of ancient atomic blast, possibly the work of aliens from other planets. Bronze Age Scytians and Sarmatians: The story of the Scythians and the Sarmatians started almost a million years ago in present-day Kazakhstan. As early as the Paleolithic, ancient man settled down on these lands rich with game and wild fruit. It is there that they founded ancient Stone Age settlements, and eventually came to control the area of present-day Kazakhstan. Excavations of their Neolithic settlements have shown that they were horse breeders, and likely some of the earliest peoples to use horse-mounted warriors. The horse enabled considerable movement, and these ancient peoples developed what in contrast to most ancient cultures was a mobile, nomadic lifestyle. Recent archeological discoveries have unearthed dwellings, along with numerous hand-made articles of stone and ivory. As early as the Bronze Age, some four thousand years, ago these tribes were engaged in farming and cattle-breeding, and were fine warriors who expertly handled chariots in combat. To this day we can see images of chariots drawn on rocks where these ancient people would arrange their tribal temples and sanctuaries. These petroglyphs include chiseled scenes of dances, images of sun-headed deities, and mighty camels and bulls as impersonations of ancient gods. Burial mounds of noble warriors scattered all throughout the Kazakh steppes are known for the magnificent size of mounds and burial vaults. They buried their dead warriors in deep pits, up to 50 feet deep, and then mounded up to 70 additional feet of earth above ground level. If the Scythians were not the first to domesticate the horse they were among the earliest, if not the first of the Central Asian people to learn to ride it. Mounted soldiers were the foundation of the Scythians' success in war. When the Scythians penetrated Asia their techniques of riding and warfare were rapidly adopted and mastered throughout the entire Middle Eastern area. They are one of the earliest races to wear trousers, reflecting their horseback lifestyle. They wore pliable boots with heels. From the 2000-years-old frozen body recovered in 1947 in Siberia, it was learned that Scythians liked to cover themselves with elaborate tattoos. Men cropped their hair, lacerated their ears, forehead, noses and arms. After the king was buried with the best of all his weapons and possessions, the funeral party strangled one of his concubines, his cupbearer, his cook, his lackey, his messenger and his best horses and placed all the bodies beside him. Even then, the funeral was not over. One year later as many as 50 Scythian youths might be selected from among those who had directly served the king. They would be strangled and buried in a circle around the royal tomb. Scythian mythology holds that their origin was the Black Sea Region. Perhaps the most striking feature of Scythians was the enormous amount of gold they wore and used. Commonly the Scythians wore golden ornaments and belts. Gold plates were sewn to their garments and gold gleamed from their weapons. Archaeologists are consistently amazed by the amount of gold offerings deposited in the great burial mounds of the Scythian kings. Bronze Age Cities of Persia: Even local archaeologists with the benefit of air-conditioned cars and paved roads think twice about crossing eastern Iran's rugged terrain. "It's a tough place," says Mehdi Mortazavi from the University of Sistan-Baluchistan in the far eastern end of Iran, near the Afghan border. At the center of this region is the Dasht-e Lut, Persian for the "Empty Desert." This treacherous landscape, 300 miles long and 200 miles wide, is covered with sinkholes, steep ravines, and sand dunes, some topping 1,000 feet. It also has the hottest average surface temperature of any place on Earth. The forbidding territory in and around this desert seems like the last place to seek clues to the emergence of the first cities and states 5,000 years ago. Yet archaeologists are finding an impressive array of ancient settlements on the edges of the Dasht-e Lut dating back to the period when urban civilization was emerging in Egypt, Iraq, and the Indus River Valley in Pakistan and India. In the 1960s and 1970s, they found the great centers of Shahr-i-Sokhta and Shahdad on the desert's fringes and another, Tepe Yahya, far to the south. More recent surveys, excavations, and remote sensing work reveal that all of eastern Iran, from near the Persian Gulf in the south to the northern edge of the Iranian plateau, was peppered with hundreds and possibly thousands of small to large settlements. Detailed laboratory analyses of artifacts and human remains from these sites are providing an intimate look at the lives of an enterprising people who helped create the world's first global trade network. Far from living in a cultural backwater, eastern Iranians from this period built large cities with palaces, used one of the first writing systems, and created sophisticated metal, pottery, and textile industries. They also appear to have shared both administrative and religious ideas as they did business with distant lands. "They connected the great corridors between Mesopotamia and the east," says Maurizio Tosi, a University of Bologna archaeologist who did pioneering work at Shahr-i-Sokhta. "They were the world in between." By 2000 B.C. these settlements were abandoned. The reasons for this remain unclear and are the source of much scholarly controversy, but urban life didn't return to eastern Iran for more than 1,500 years. The very existence of this civilization was long forgotten. Recovering its past has not been easy. Parts of the area are close to the Afghan border, long rife with armed smugglers. Revolution and politics have frequently interrupted excavations. And the immensity of the region and its harsh climate make it one of the most challenging places in the world to conduct archaeology. The peripatetic English explorer Sir Aurel Stein, famous for his archaeological work surveying large swaths of Central Asia and the Middle East, slipped into Persia at the end of 1915 and found the first hints of eastern Iran's lost cities. Stein traversed what he described as "a big stretch of gravel and sandy desert" and encountered "the usual...robber bands from across the Afghan border, without any exciting incident." What did excite Stein was the discovery of what he called "the most surprising prehistoric site" on the eastern edge of the Dasht-e Lut. Locals called it Shahr-i-Sokhta ("Burnt City") because of signs of ancient destruction. It wasn't until a half-century later that Tosi and his team hacked their way through the thick salt crust and discovered a metropolis rivaling those of the first great urban centers in Mesopotamia and the Indus. Radiocarbon data showed that the site was founded around 3200 B.C., just as the first substantial cities in Mesopotamia were being built, and flourished for more than a thousand years. During its heyday in the middle of the third millennium B.C., the city covered more than 150 hectares and may have been home to more than 20,000 people, perhaps as populous as the large cities of Umma in Mesopotamia and Mohenjo-Daro on the Indus River. A vast shallow lake and wells likely provided the necessary water, allowing for cultivated fields and grazing for animals. Built of mudbrick, the city boasted a large palace, separate neighborhoods for pottery-making, metalworking, and other industrial activities, and distinct areas for the production of local goods. Most residents lived in modest one-room houses, though some were larger compounds with six to eight rooms. Bags of goods and storerooms were often "locked" with stamp seals, a procedure common in Mesopotamia in the era. Shahr-i-Sokhta boomed as the demand for precious goods among elites in the region and elsewhere grew. Though situated in inhospitable terrain, the city was close to tin, copper, and turquoise mines, and lay on the route bringing lapis lazuli from Afghanistan to the west. Craftsmen worked shells from the Persian Gulf, carnelian from India, and local metals such as tin and copper. Some they made into finished products, and others were exported in unfinished form. Lapis blocks brought from the Hindu Kush mountains, for example, were cut into smaller chunks and sent on to Mesopotamia and as far west as Syria. Unworked blocks of lapis weighing more than 100 pounds in total were unearthed in the ruined palace of Ebla, close to the Mediterranean Sea. Archaeologist Massimo Vidale of the University of Padua says that the elites in eastern Iranian cities like Shahr-i-Sokhta were not simply slaves to Mesopotamian markets. They apparently kept the best-quality lapis for themselves, and sent west what they did not want. Lapis beads found in the royal tombs of Ur, for example, are intricately carved, but of generally low-quality stone compared to those of Shahr-i-Sokhta. Pottery was produced on a massive scale. Nearly 100 kilns were clustered in one part of town and the craftspeople also had a thriving textile industry. Hundreds of wooden spindle whorls and combs were uncovered, as were well-preserved textile fragments made of goat hair and wool that show a wide variation in their weave. According to Irene Good, a specialist in ancient textiles at Oxford University, this group of textile fragments constitutes one of the most important in the world, given their great antiquity and the insight they provide into an early stage of the evolution of wool production. Textiles were big business in the third millennium B.C., according to Mesopotamian texts, but actual textiles from this era had never before been found. A metal flag found at Shahdad, one of eastern Iran's early urban sites, dates to around 2400 B.C. The flag depicts a man and woman facing each other, one of the recurrent themes in the region's art at this time. A plain ceramic jar, found recently at Shahdad, contains residue of a white cosmetic whose complex formula is evidence for an extensive knowledge of chemistry among the city's ancient inhabitants. The artifacts also show the breadth of Shahr-i-Sokhta's connections. Some excavated red-and-black ceramics share traits with those found in the hills and steppes of distant Turkmenistan to the north, while others are similar to pots made in Pakistan to the east, then home to the Indus civilization. Tosi's team found a clay tablet written in a script called Proto-Elamite, which emerged at the end of the fourth millennium B.C., just after the advent of the first known writing system, cuneiform, which evolved in Mesopotamia. Other such tablets and sealings with Proto-Elamite signs have also been found in eastern Iran, such as at Tepe Yahya. This script was used for only a few centuries starting around 3200 B.C. and may have emerged in Susa, just east of Mesopotamia. By the middle of the third millennium B.C., however, it was no longer in use. Most of the eastern Iranian tablets record simple transactions involving sheep, goats, and grain and could have been used to keep track of goods in large households. While Tosi's team was digging at Shahr-i-Sokhta, Iranian archaeologist Ali Hakemi was working at another site, Shahdad, on the western side of the Dasht-e Lut. This settlement emerged as early as the fifth millennium B.C. on a delta at the edge of the desert. By the early third millennium B.C., Shahdad began to grow quickly as international trade with Mesopotamia expanded. Tomb excavations revealed spectacular artifacts amid stone blocks once painted in vibrant colors. These include several extraordinary, nearly life-size clay statues placed with the dead. The city's artisans worked lapis lazuli, silver, lead, turquoise, and other materials imported from as far away as eastern Afghanistan, as well as shells from the distant Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. Evidence shows that ancient Shahdad had a large metalworking industry by this time. During a recent survey, a new generation of archaeologists found a vast hill—nearly 300 feet by 300 feet—covered with slag from smelting copper. Vidale says that analysis of the copper ore suggests that the smiths were savvy enough to add a small amount of arsenic in the later stages of the process to strengthen the final product. Shahdad's metalworkers also created such remarkable artifacts as a metal flag dating to about 2400 B.C. Mounted on a copper pole topped with a bird, perhaps an eagle, the squared flag depicts two figures facing one another on a rich background of animals, plants, and goddesses. The flag has no parallels and its use is unknown. Vidale has also found evidence of a sweet-smelling nature. During a spring 2009 visit to Shahdad, he discovered a small stone container lying on the ground. The vessel, which appears to date to the late fourth millennium B.C., was made of chlorite, a dark soft stone favored by ancient artisans in southeast Iran. Using X-ray diffraction at an Iranian lab, he discovered lead carbonate—used as a white cosmetic—sealed in the bottom of the jar. He identified fatty material that likely was added as a binder, as well as traces of coumarin, a fragrant chemical compound found in plants and used in some perfumes. Further analysis showed small traces of copper, possibly the result of a user dipping a small metal applicator into the container. Other sites in eastern Iran are only now being investigated. For the past two years, Iranian archaeologists Hassan Fazeli Nashli and Hassain Ali Kavosh from the University of Tehran have been digging in a small settlement a few miles east of Shahdad called Tepe Graziani, named for the Italian archaeologist who first surveyed the site. They are trying to understand the role of the city's outer settlements by examining this ancient mound, which is 30 feet high, 525 feet wide, and 720 feet long. Excavators have uncovered a wealth of artifacts including a variety of small sculptures depicting crude human figures, humped bulls, and a Bactrian camel dating to approximately 2900 B.C. A bronze mirror, fishhooks, daggers, and pins are among the metal finds. There are also wooden combs that survived in the arid climate. "The site is small but very rich," says Fazeli, adding that it may have been a prosperous suburban production center for Shahdad. Sites such as Shahdad and Shahr-i-Sokhta and their suburbs were not simply islands of settlements in what otherwise was empty desert. Fazeli adds that some 900 Bronze Age sites have been found on the Sistan plain, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mortazavi, meanwhile, has been examining the area around the Bampur Valley, in Iran's extreme southeast. This area was a corridor between the Iranian plateau and the Indus Valley, as well as between Shahr-i-Sokhta to the north and the Persian Gulf to the south. A 2006 survey along the Damin River identified 19 Bronze Age sites in an area of less than 20 square miles. That river periodically vanishes, and farmers depend on underground channels called qanats to transport water. Despite the lack of large rivers, ancient eastern Iranians were very savvy in marshaling their few water resources. Using satellite remote sensing data, Vidale has found remains of what might be ancient canals or qanats around Shahdad, but more work is necessary to understand how inhabitants supported themselves in this harsh climate 5,000 years ago, as they still do today. The large eastern Iranian settlement of Tepe Yahya produced clear evidence for the manufacture of a type of black stone jar for export that has been found as far away as Mesopotamia. Meanwhile, archaeologists also hope to soon continue work that began a decade ago at Konar Sandal, 55 miles north of Yahya near the modern city of Jiroft in southeastern Iran. France-based archaeologist Yusef Madjizadeh has spent six seasons working at the site, which revealed a large city centered on a high citadel with massive walls beside the Halil River. That city and neighboring settlements like Yahya produced artfully carved dark stone vessels that have been found in Mesopotamian temples. Vidale notes that Indus weights, seals, and etched carnelian beads found at Konar Sandal demonstrate connections with that civilization as well. Many of these settlements were abandoned in the latter half of the third millennium B.C., and, by 2000 B.C., the vibrant urban life of eastern Iran was history. Barbara Helwig of Berlin's German Archaeological Institute suspects a radical shift in trade patterns precipitated the decline. Instead of moving in caravans across the deserts and plateau of Iran, Indus traders began sailing directly to Arabia and then on to Mesopotamia, while to the north, the growing power of the Oxus civilization in today's Turkmenistan may have further weakened the role of cities such as Shahdad. Others blame climate change. The lagoons, marshes, and streams may have dried up, since even small shifts in rainfall canB.C. have a dramatic effect on water sources in the area. Here, there is no Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, or Indus to provide agricultural bounty through a drought, and even the most sophisticated water systems may have failed during a prolonged dry spell. It is also possible that an international economic downturn played a role. The destruction of the Mesopotamian city of Ur around 2000 B.C. and the later decline of Indus metropolises such as Mohenjo-Daro might have spelled doom for a trading people. The market for precious goods such as lapis collapsed. There is no clear evidence of widespread warfare, though Shahr-i-Sokhta appears to have been destroyed by fire several times. But a combination of drought, changes in trade routes, and economic trouble might have led people to abandon their cities to return to a simpler existence of herding and small-scale farming. Not until the Persian Empire rose 1,500 years later did people again live in any large numbers in eastern Iran, and not until modern times did cities again emerge. This also means that countless ancient sites are still awaiting exploration on the plains, in the deserts, and among the rocky valleys of the region. Bronze Age War Horses and Chariots: By the mid-second millennium B.C., the use of horses in warfare had become common throughout the Near East and Egypt. This development was made possible by advances both in the design of chariots, in particular the invention of the spoked wheel, which replaced the solid wooden wheel and reduced a chariot’s weight, and the introduction of all-metal bits, which gave chariot drivers more control over their horses. Though chariot warfare was expensive, and its effectiveness was determined by the durability of the chariots and suitability of the terrain, the vehicles became essential battlefield equipment. According to archaeologist Brian Fagan of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Bronze Age chariots acted largely as mobile archery platforms, with the bulkier four-wheeled ones also being used to carry kings into battle or to allow generals to observe the fighting. Lighter two-wheeled versions, such as those found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, were better suited to carrying a single archer and a driver. One of the most informative sources for the use of chariot horses in the ancient Near East is a tablet discovered in 1906–1907 in the royal archive at the Hittite site of Hattusa in Anatolia. The “Kikkuli Text,” written in cuneiform script and dating to around 1400 B.C., is named after its author. Kikkuli introduces himself in the first line as a “horse trainer from the land of the Mitanni,” a state in what is now northern Syria and southeastern Turkey. He then describes an approximately 184-day training cycle that begins in the fall, in which he includes instructions for the horses’ feeding, watering, and care, recommending stable rest, massages, and blankets. For nearly a millennium, warhorses were used almost exclusively to pull chariots, but after about 850 B.C. chariotry began to decline. Horses, however, never lost their usefulness in battle. Within about 150 years, cavalry, which is suitable to almost any terrain, virtually replaced chariotry in the Near East, and, eventually, horse-drawn chariots were employed primarily for racing, in ceremonial parades, and as prestige vehicles. In time this happened not only in this region, but across most of Europe as well. The rise of true cavalry was the determining force behind many of the major events that influenced European history, including Charles Martel’s defeat of the Saracens at the Battle of Poitiers in A.D. 732, the creation of the Holy Roman Empire, and the victory of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in A.D. 1066. “I think that the most important development in history with respect to animals was the adoption of the horse as a weapon of war,” says Fagan. [Archaeological Institute of America]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: New (albeit with very faint, almost imperceptible shelfwear). See detailed description below., Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (2000), Format: High Quality Trade Softcover, Length: 160 pages, Dimensions: 7 x 5 inches; ¾ pound

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