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A Dictionary of Archaeology

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by Ranov and Dodonov, the principal evidence consists of a small number of artefacts (including typical choppers and chopping tools) within the 11th and 12th (LOESS) levels of a sequence of fossil soils. Palaeomagnetic measurements revealed a reversed polarity compatible with the Matuyama epoch (i.e. older than 0.7 million years). Artefacts were also found in the upper levels of the fossil soils, the ages of which range from 500,000 to 300,000 BP.

V.A. Ranov: ‘Tout commence au Paléolithique’, DA 185 (1993), 4–13.


Kulli Complex The large mound-site of Kulli, in southern Baluchistan, Pakistan (excavated by Auriel Stein in 1928) forms the type-site of the poorly dated Kulli Complex of the 3rd millennium BC, which includes more than 80 sites widely distributed throughout the Baluchistan highlands. The largest Kulli Complex site is the c.50 hectare site of Nindowari, about 15 km south of Kulli, where the excavations of Jean-Marie Casal have revealed HARAPPAN occupation levels preceded by evidence for Kulli Complex remains of a substantial urban settlement, including monumental architecture and an enclosure wall. The roughly contemporary Kulli settlements at Mehi and SHAHI TUMP have cemeteries associated with them. Mehi is a circular mound (about 100 m in diameter) in southern Pakistan, where Auriel Stein, Stuart Piggot and Walter Fairservis excavated a settlement with traces of stone architecture, and an adjacent cemetery in which the cremated bodies were placed in painted ceramic vessels.

Typical Kulli Complex artefacts include painted ceramics decorated in black or black and red, with geometric and naturalistic motifs, such as rows of caprids, fish or bulls, on a variety of bowland jarforms. The sites are also characterized by perforated vessels (identical to those from sites of the INDUS CIVILIZATION), ceramic figurines of bulls and women, triangular cakes of terracotta (which are thought to have been used for the retention of heat in cooking fires), copper tools and carnelian beads, many having close parallels with coeval lowland sites of the INDUS CIVILIZATION. In addition, two Indus stamp seals were recovered in excavations at Nindowari, suggesting intensive interaction between upland Kulli and lowland Indus societies of the 3rd millennium BC. Gregory L. Possehl has therefore suggested that the Kulli complex is best viewed as the highland form of the Indus Civilization (1986:61).


M.A. Stein: ‘An archaeological tour in Gedrosia’, Bulletin of the Archaeological Survey of India 43 (1931), 155–63; S. Piggott: Prehistoric India (Harmondsworth, 1950), 96–9, 110–3; J.M. Casal: ‘Nindowari: a chalcolithic site in south Baluchistan’, PA 5 (1966), 51–5; W.A. Fairservis: The roots of ancient India (Chicago, 1971), 205–7; G.L. Possehl: Kulli: an exploration of ancient civilization in Asia

(Durham, CA, 1986).


Kültepe (anc. Kanesh) Tell-site near Kayseri in the Cappadocian plain of central Turkey, which was first identified as Kanesh, an important Bronze Age capital city, when it was excavated by the Czech archaeologist Bedrich Hrozny between 1925 and 1926. The main settlement, dating back to the mid-3rd millennium BC, was already an impressive town of substantial mud-brick buildings and is probably to be equated with the Early Bronze Age city of Nesa mentioned in Mesopotamian texts of the late 3rd millennium BC. The Indo-European inhabitants of Nesa and the surrounding kingdom – the Nesites – gradually took control of the Anatolian plateau and by the 2nd millennium BC had become known as the HITTITES. The archaeological significance of Kültepe derives mainly from Hrozny’s discovery of an archive of thousands of Old Assyrian cuneiform tablets in an area of extra-mural settlement dating to the 19th and 20th centuries BC. Out of about a hundred excavated houses, more than seventy have yielded caches of tablets, mainly consisting of business documents.

The archive indicates that although this village at the edge of Kanesh was ostensibly identical to the main city in terms of its material culture, it was in fact a karum – a colony of merchants from the Mesopotamian city of Assur about 1600 km to the south, who were exchanging tin and textiles for Anatolian gold, silver and copper. The karum was occupied from c.1950 to 1850 BC, when it appears to have been destroyed by fire. Surviving texts indicate that there were also Old Assyrian trading colonies at other Hittite cities, including Burushattum (probably AÇEMHÖYÜK), Boghazköy


B. Hrozny: ‘Rapport préliminaire sur les fouilles tchécoslovaques du Kültepe’, Syria 8 (1927), 1–12; T. Özgüç:

Kültepe-Kanis (Ankara, 1959); P. Garelli: Les Assyriens en Cappadoce (Paris, 1963); L.L. Orlin: Assyrian colonies in Cappadocia (The Hague, 1970); M.T. Larsen: The Old Assyrian city-state and its colonies (Copenhagen, 1976); M. Ichisar: Les archives cappadociens du marchand Imdilum

(Paris, 1981); J.N. Postgate: Early Mesopotamia: society and economy at the dawn of history (London, 1992), 211–6.



Kumadzulo see AFRICA 4.3

Kumma see SEMNA

Kunda Mesolithic site in northern Estonia, 110 km east of the city of Tallinn, in the coastal area of the Finnish Gulf. Mesolithic remains were found upon a hill (Lammäsmgi) in the middle of the peat bog, and in the bog itself, in a layer of marl. The bones of elk form 96% of the faunal remains; the rest is brown bear, wild pig, wild horse and seal. Flint and quartz implements include tanged arrowheads of Swiderian type, burins, scrapers, backed bladelets and microliths. The numerous bone and antler tools included a ‘Lyngby’ antler axe, fishhooks and picks. Radiocarbon dating suggests a calendar date of c.7200–4900BC.

The term ‘Kunda’ is also used to denote a Mesolithic cultural tradition (the ‘Kunda culture’) that spread across Estonia, northern Latvia and neighbouring regions of northwestern Russia. The earliest site, Pulli, is situated on the bank of the Pärmu river, in southwestern Estonia, in the stratified deposits of a lagoon of the Yoldia Sea. The fauna includes elk, brown bear and beaver. The Kunda-type industry comprises tanged points, points and adzes, and radiocarbon measurements suggest a calender date of c.8000 BC.

The stratified site of Narva was originally located on the southern shore of an inshore lagoon, 110 km east of Kunda. The faunal remains were dominated by elk (37–55%) and also included red deer, wild pig, roe deer, brown bear and seal. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal and wood suggests calendar dates of 6650–4900 BC.

The Mesolithic site of Osa, in the depression of Lubana Lake in eastern Latvia, has yielded bones of wild pig (40.5%) and elk (24.5%), and radiocarbon dating of wood from the cultural stratum suggests calendar dates of 6650–4900 BC.

Sites attributed to the Kunda culture have also been found near the town of Luga (130 km south of St Petersburg), and near the town of Velizh, in the upper stretches of the Western Dvina (Smolensk oblast’, Russia).

R. Indreko: Die mittlere Steinzeit in Estland (Uppsala, 1948); L. and K. Jaanits: ‘Frühmesolithische Siedlung von Pulli’, Izvestija AN Estonskoi SSR 24 (1975), 64–70.


Kura-Araxian Bronze-Age culture spread largely through Transcaucasia and dating from the 4th to 3rd millennium BC. The settlements, both fortified

and unfortified, were located mainly in the intermontane depressions of the Greater and Little Caucasus (the Kura, Kura-Araxes and Ararat plain), penetrating into the surrounding mountains. Several local variants are distinguishable (Sagona 1984): rectangular wattle-and-daub houses reinforced with posts are characteristic for Georgia, while in Armenia, mud-brick circular buildings with adjoining non-residential structures are more typical. In the more mountainous areas, settlements tend to be fortified.

The economy was agricultural and welldeveloped, with draught animals commonly employed and a wide spectrum of crops including bread, spelt, club and emmer wheats; hulled and naked barley; Italian millet; flax, grape-wine and various fruits. Transhumant stock-breeding was practised, and sheep and goat were the principal domesticates. A key feature of the Kura-Araxian tradition was the developed metallurgy and metalworking of arsenic bronze and other copper alloys, based on the local ores. Workshops in Transcaucasia produced large quantities of armaments and working tools (various types of axes, knives, daggers, spearheads, sickles, awls, chisels) and ornaments (spirals, bracelets, pendants, pins, bears, ear-rings etc.). Another peculiarity of the Kura-Araxian assemblage is its pottery: silvery, lustrous black-burnished cups and jars, decorated with spirals.

Kura-Araxian sites are known in northwestern Iran (Geoy Tepe, Yanik Tepe, Godin Tepe) and in the upper Euphrates basin in eastern Turkey (Karaz, Putlur, Guzelova etc.). Assemblages similar to the Kura-Araxian are attested at KHIRBET KERAK-type sites near the Sea of Galilee and on the Plain of Antioch. Radiocarbon dating of samples from the Transcaucasian sites suggests calendar dates in the range 4000–2500 BC; in Anatolia of around 4400–2000 BC; and in Syria and Palestine of about 3600–2200 BC.

A.G. Sagona: The Caucasian region in the Early Bronze Age, BAR IS 214 (Oxford, 1984); K.Kh. Kushnareva:

Yuzˇnyi kavkaz v IX–II tys. do n.e. [The Southern Caucasus in the 8th–2nd millennium BC] (St. Petersburg, 1993); P.M. Dolukhanov: Environment and ethnicity in the Ancient Middle East (Aldershot, 1994).


kurgan cultures see CATACOMB GRAVE



Kuroimine A Late Kofun village site in Gunma prefecture, Japan, part of a landscape buried in the mid-6th century AD by a violent eruption of Mount Haruna. Roads, fields and habitation enclosures containing storage facilities, cattle sheds and houses have been recovered providing detailed information about the lives of ordinary people of the period.

H. Tsude: ‘Kuroimine’, Ancient Japan, ed. R. Pearson (Washington, D.C., 1992), 223–5.


el-Kurru Napatan funerary site on the Dongola reach of the Nile in Upper Nubia. The earliest part of the cemetery at el-Kurru (c.1000–751 BC) consists of the tumuli of the rulers of the kingdom of Kush, the political centre of which was the district of NAPATA (which also incorporates Sanam, Gebel Barkal and NURI). The tombs of later Napatan rulers at el-Kurru (c.751–653 BC) consisted of small Egyptian-style pyramidal superstructures, each with an undecorated rectangular funerary chapel built against its east face. The subterranean burial chambers, all of which have been plundered, were reached by long flights of steps from an entrance at ground-level to the east of the pyramid. There is also a group of 24 horse burials dating to the same period as the pyramidal tombs. In about 653 BC the Napatan royal cemetery transferred to Nuri, about 15 km to the north.


D. Dunham: The royal cemeteries of Kush, I: El-Kurru

(Boston, 1950); R. Morkot: ‘The empty years of Nubian history’, Centuries of darkness, ed. P. James et al. (London, 1991), 204–19.



Kuyunjik, Tell see NINEVEH


Kwatna Locality on the central coast of British Columbia halfway between Bella Bella and Bella Coola, incorporating a group of sites which provide evidence of the last 2000 years of local prehistory to c.AD 1840. The sites illustrate the value of the direct ethnographic approach to survey in that they were identified from Bella Coola oral tradition (McIlwraith 1948: 19–20) and then located by archaeological survey (Hobler 1990).

T.F. McIlwraith: The Bella Coola Indians (Toronto, 1948); P.M. Hobler: ‘Prehistory of the Central Coast of British Columbia’, Handbook of North American Indians VII, ed. W. Suttles (Washington, D.C. 1990), 298–305.



Laang Spean Cave located in the valley of the Stung Sangker in western Cambodia. Excavations there by Mourer revealed five cultural layers; the intermittent occupation has been dated by radiocarbon from 7000 BC to about AD 900. During the second occupation phase (4000 BC), there was a rich stone industry matching in many respects that described in northern Vietnam as HOABINHIAN, together with cord-marked and impressed potsherds. The occupants exploited aquatic resources, for the remains of crabs, turtles and shellfish were recovered. The foragers of Laang Spean also hunted rhinoceros, deer, cattle and monkey.

C. and R. Mourer: ‘Laang Spean and the prehistory of Cambodia’, MQRISA 3 (1977), 29–56.


Labná see PUUC

Lachish (Tell ed-Duweir) Palestinian city located about 45 km southwest of JERUSALEM, which was first occupied by troglodites in the late Chalcolithic period (c.3500 BC), but particularly flourished during the Bronze Age and early Iron Age (c.1450–587 BC). In the 18th century BC the settlement was transformed into a HYKSOS fortress, but by the early 16th century BC it was in the hands of the Egyptians. Subsequent phases were characterized by Canaanite, Israelite, Persian and Hellenistic material.

H. Torczyner et al.: Lachish I (London, 1938); O. Tufnell, C.H. Inge and L. Harding: Lachish II–IV (London, 1940–58); Y. Aharoni: Investigations at Lachish (Lachish V) (Tel Aviv and Tokyo, 1975).


lacquer (chi’i, qi) Coloured varnish made from the sap of the rhus verniciflua tree (indigenous to China and Japan) and applied to such materials as wood, bamboo, bronze and silk. Remnants of lacquered wood have been excavated from burials as early as Shang times (c.2000–1122 BC) in China. Although offering the artist a medium for practi-

cally complete freedom of expression, there is little suggestion of such aesthetic use of lacquer in the


(771–255 BC). In these earlier periods the art-forms of lacquer-ware were as restricted and conventionalized as the contemporary bronze decoration.

In the Eastern Chou period there was extensive use of lacquer-ware; CHU’U sites have yielded large quantities and varieties of vessels and other artefacts with exquisite paintings in lacquer depicting mythical beings and intricate interlacery with a marked freedom of artistic expression. Bronze vessels with cast-in recesses, filled with a paste of powdered silica, natural copper ores, and other materials (see TSENG HOU YI TOMB), were usually covered with a layer of lacquer. Occasionally the entire surface of a bronze vessel was painted with lacquer, as in finds from such sites as the Western Han Lo-po-wan tombs near Kuei-hsien, Kwanghsi (Anon. 1988: pls iv–vii). In Han times (206 BCAD 220) even greater artistic attainments are to be seen as, for example, the coffin lid in Tomb 1 of the MA-WANG-TUI site, Ch’ang-sha.

Shang Ch’eng-tso: Ch’ang-sha ch’u-t’u Ch’u ch’i-ch’i t’u-lu

[Illustrations of Ch’u lacquerware unearthed in Ch’angsha] (Peking, 1957); Li Cheng-kuang, ed.: Han-tai ch’i-chi’i yi-shu [The art of lacquer of the Han Period] (Peking, 1987); Anon.: Kuang-hsi Kuei-hsien Lo-po-wan Han-mu [The Han tombs of Lo-po-wan, Kuei-hsien, Kuang-hsi] (Peking, 1988).


‘lacustrine tradition’ see AQUATIC


Laetoli Early hominid site in Tanzania, located on the edge of the Serengeti plain very close to OLDUVAI gorge, where Mary Leakey excavated a sequence of Pleistocene and Pliocene aeolian tuffs with a date of 3.5–4 million years ago. She discovered remains of gracile Australopithecine jaws and teeth (either AUSTRALOPITHECUS afarensis or africanus), which are probably of similar date and species to the fossil remains excavated at HADAR in

Ethiopia. A number of footprints left by hominids and other animals in associated deposits of ashy mud have also provided crucial evidence of Australopithecus’ bipedalism. The Laetoli deposits contained no artefacts, unlike the Hadar deposits, where a few stone tools – of a somewhat later date than the Australopithecine remains – were found.

M.D. Leakey and R.L. Hay: ‘Pliocene footprints in the Laetolil beds at Laetoli, northern Tanzania’, Nature 278 (1979), 317–23; M.P. Leakey and J.M. Harris, eds:

Laetoli: a Pliocene site in northern Tanzania (Oxford, 1987).


Laga Oda Site of two painted rock-shelters in the Dire Dawa region of Ethiopia, dating to at least 16,000 BP. The paintings include depictions of many different types of animals, such as cattle, giraffes, antelopes, elephants and buffalo. One of these incorporates a sequence of almost a thousand painted figures stretching for about 50 m along the top of the wall. The occupation debris excavated inside the shelters comprises artefacts of the


S. Cole: The prehistory of East Africa (London, 1964), 242; J.D. Clark and M.A.J. Williams: ‘Recent archaeological research in southeastern Ethiopia, 1974–5’, AE 11 (1978), 19–42.


Lagash (Tell el-Hiba) Large tell-site in southern Iraq, consisting of the remains of the SUMERIAN capital city of the Lagash Dynasty (c.2570– 2342 BC). It was first excavated by Robert Koldewey in 1887, who suggested that it was only a cemeterysite, but American excavations since 1968 have produced firm evidence that this site, rather than TELLOH (actually ancient Girsu), was the location of the capital of the city-state of Lagash. The excavated structures include a temple of Ningirsu (named Bagara) and an oval sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Innana (named Ibgal).

V.E. Crawford: ‘Lagash’, Iraq 36 (1974), 29–35; D.P. Hansen: ‘Al Hiba, 1968/76’, Sumer 34 (1978), 72–85.


Lagreich see AFRICA 2

el-Lahun Located at the eastern edge of the FAIYUM REGION, about 100 km southeast of Cairo, el-Lahun is the site of the pyramid complex of Senusret II (c.1897–1878 BC) and, beside its valley temple, the remains of ancient Hetep-Senusret, a rectangular, planned town, measuring about 384 by


335 m. This settlement is thought to have initially housed the officials responsible for the royal mortuary cult but eventually appears to have developed into a town with its own haty-ð (mayor). The site has also yielded a large number of HIERATIC papyri, dating to the late Middle Kingdom (c.1850–1750 BC) and ranging from religious documents to private correspondence.

W.M.F. Petrie: Kahun, Gurob and Hawara (London, 1890); ––––: Illahun, Kahun and Gurob (London, 1891);

––––, G. Brunton and M.A. Murray: Lahun II (London, 1923); B.J. Kemp: Ancient Egypt: anatomy of a civilization

(London, 1989), 149–57.


Lake Eyasi see AFRICA 5

Lake Mojave Complex see STEMMED POINT


Lake Mungo One of a series of relict Pleistocene lakes in western New South Wales, Australia, last full around 15,000 years ago. A dune system formed to the northeast of the lake on which people camped, and these deposits contain prehistoric remains dating back to 35,000 years ago. The remains include a human burial (with ochre) and a cremation, as well as large numbers of stone tools. Fish, shellfish and birds (derived from the lake) are found, as well as terrestrial fauna; some remains are deposited as single episodes, others as longer term deposits which may represent base camps. The main species of fish to be found, golden perch, are mostly of a similar size, suggesting the use of nets; a number of bone points have been found which may have been netting needles. After the lakes dried up, human activity declined markedly, and represents a major shift in the human exploitation of western New South Wales.

J. Bowler et al.: ‘Pleistocene human remains from Australia’, WA 2 (1970), 39–60; A. Ross et al.: ‘The peopling of the arid zone: human-environment interactions’, The naive lands, ed. J. Dodson (Melbourne, 1992), 76–114.


Lake Nasser In 1902 the construction of the first Aswan Dam at the 1st Nile cataract in Upper Egypt led to the creation of the vast reservoir of Lake Nasser, threatening to engulf many of the archaeological sites of Lower Nubia. The American archaeologist George Reisner was therefore appointed as the director of the first international ‘salvage campaign’ in the history of archaeology. It


was this ‘Archaeological Survey of Nubia’ that produced the first evidence for several phases of indigenous Nubian culture (the so-called A, B, C and X Groups), thus effectively refuting the commonly held belief that ancient Nubia was culturally dependent on Egypt.

From 1929 to 1934 there was a second Survey of Nubia, as a result of the enlargement of the Aswan Dam in 1932, but the most impressive campaign – necessitated by the construction of the much larger High Dam at Aswan (the Sadd al-ðAli) which was completed in 1971 – took place during the 1960s and early 1970s. The new dam, over 4 km wide and about 100 m high, transformed Lake Nasser into a much larger reservoir, over 500 km in length. Whereas the two previous major phases of Nubian exploration had concentrated on the simple recording of threatened sites by mapping and excavation, the UNESCO-sponsored Nubian Salvage Campaign also included the ambitious dismantling of 14 entire stone temple complexes (including ABU SIMBEL, Aksha, Amada, Beit el-Wali, Derr, Kalabsha and PHILAE) so that they could be moved and rebuilt in new locations outside the area to be covered by the expanded Lake Nasser.

Apart from the accumulation of new data concerning the early history of Nubia, the Campaign acted as an important catalyst by focusing the attentions of archaeologists in the Nile valley on the










Kurkur Oasis










Tropic of Cancer


Beit el-Wali






Dunqul Oasis








Gerf Hussein
















New Sabua

















Abu Simbel





Gebel el-Adda





40 km




Wadi Halfa



Map 24 Lake Nasser The principal archaeological sites in the area flooded by Lake Nasser, Egypt.

hitherto-neglected study of towns and cities, thus also ensuring that many Egyptologists were trained in the more exacting scientific methods and approaches required by settlement archaeology.

A.E. Weigall: Report on the antiquities of Lower Nubia

(Cairo, 1907); W.Y. Adams: Nubia: corridor to Africa, 2nd edn (Princeton, 1984), 81–90; T. Säve-Söderbergh, ed.:

Temples and tombs of ancient Nubia (London, 1987).


Lake Turkana see EAST TURKANA

Lalibela Medieval religious and urban site, located to the east of Lake Tana in the Ethiopian highlands, which was the capital of the Zagwe dynasty during the 12th and 13th centuries AD. The twelve distinctive rock-cut churches of the Lalibela region, first described by the Portuguese explorer Alvares in the early 16th century, owe a great deal to the architecture of the preceding Axumite period (see AXUM). All of the churches are basilican in plan, apart from the cruciform church of St George, a spectacular 10.6-metre-high structure hewn from one block of stone and located in a deep pit.

M. della Corte: Lalibela (Rome, 1940); I. Bidder: Lalibela (Cologne, 1959); G. Gerster: Churches in rock (London and New York, 1970).


Lalibela Cave Neolithic rock-shelter located to the east of Lake Tana in the Ethiopian highlands, where material dating to the mid-1st millennium BC was excavated by Joanne Dombrowski. The inhabitants of the shelter appear to have had a subsistence base including cattle herding and the cultivation of barley, chickpea and certain legumes.

J. Dombrowski: ‘Preliminary report on excavations in Lalibela and Natchabiet Caves, Begemeder’, AE 8 (1970), 21–9.


Iamassu Akkadian term used to refer to the colossal sculptures of human-headed winged bulls or lions which were erected as guardian figures in the entrances to temples and palaces at late


NIMRUD, as well as at later Achaemenid sites such



Lamoka North American prehistoric site located in Schuler County in central New York state. Archaeological investigations conducted at Lamoka

Lake Site by William Ritchie in the 1920s and 1930s led to the definition of the ‘Lamoka Complex’, characterized by choppers, narrow-bladed, small projectile points, bevelled adzes and antler pendants. Radiocarbon dates indicate that the Lamoka Lake phase dates to 2500–2000 BC. In 1932, Ritchie used his Lamoka Lake data to define the Archaic Stage, denoting an early level of cultural development based on hunting, fishing and gathering of wild plant foods, and lacking pottery, agriculture and the smoking pipe.

W. Ritchie: ‘The Lamoka Lake Site’, Researches and Transactions of the New York State Archaeological Association (New York, 1932); ––––: The archaeology of New York State (New York, 1969).


landscape archaeology School of archaeology which lays particular emphasis on the wider geographical and topographical surroundings of archaeological sites. Even in the early 19th century, the Swedish prehistorian Jens Worsaae was insisting that archaeological remains could only be understood in relation to the ancient environment. This kind of wide-focused environmental FUNCTIONALISM exemplified by Robert Gradmann’s study of the links between LOESS soils and Neolithic settlements, was undoubtedly the forerunner of landscape archaeology. Although there has been a tendency, for much of the 20th century, to regard single, isolated sites as the real focal points of archaeology, this view has been gradually weakened by such methodological developments as


more recently, GIS and ‘space syntax’ (see FORMAL ANALYSIS). On a methodological level, by the late 1960s Claudio Vita-Finzi and Eric Higgs (1970) had introduced the concept of ‘SITE CATCHMENT ANALYSIS’, involving the quantitative analysis of the economic potential of territory surrounding a settlement site. The later development of foraging theory attempts to apply similar decision analysis to the procurement strategies of hunter-gatherers. In the 1970s, landscape archaeology was established as a full subdiscipline, when Aston and Rowley (1974) applied landscape-oriented methodology to the study of boundaries and field systems in the English Middle Ages, and when Bowen and Fowler (1978) analysed Iron Age patterns of land-use.

In the 1990s, the influence of such theoretical approaches as STRUCTURALISM, POST-


many archaeologists and anthropologists to adopt less economic and functional views of the archaeo-


logical landscape, concentrating instead on attempts to understand the ways in which natural and architectural features were experienced by humans in the past, and how the ancient modification of the landscape can be interpreted as a reflection of ancient cognitive processes (see Bender 1993; Hirsch and O’Hanlon 1995).

C. Vita-Finzi and E.S. Higgs: ‘Prehistoric economy in the Mount Carmel area of Palestine: site catchment analysis’, PPS 36 (1970), 1–37; M. Aston and T. Rowley: Landscape archaeology: an introduction to fieldwork techniques on postRoman landscapes (Newton Abbot, 1974); C. Bowen and P. Fowler: Prehistoric land allotment (Oxford, 1978); M. Aston: Interpreting the landscape: landscape archaeology in local studies (London, 1985); B. Bender, ed.: Landscape: politics and perspectives (Oxford and Providence, 1993); P. Hirsch and M. O’Hanlon, eds: The anthropology of landscape: between place and space (Oxford, 1995).



Langi tombs see TONGA

Lang Rongrien Cave located in Krabi Province, southern Thailand, with deposits from the Pleistocene and Holocene. The excavator, Douglas Anderson, identified four stratigraphic units. The uppermost included four burials with a material culture similar to that from BAN KAO to the north. These overlay a series of lenses incorporating HOABINHIAN material, dated 7500–8300 BP, that contained faunal remains indicating access to the sea. Below these, there was a 1.5 m deposit of rockfall which concealed a series of layers that included hearths and stone tools dating as far back as 37,000 BP. It is most unusual to find a sequence which covers the end of the Pleistocene through to the Holocene in Southeast Asia, and Anderson has been able to relate the material culture to the changing climate and sea level during that period.

D. Anderson: Lang Rongrien rockshelter (Philadelphia, 1990).


L’Anse aux Meadows Site at the northern tip of Newfoundland, where Norse colonists from Greenland constructed and briefly occupied a small settlement approximately 1000 years ago. Eight turf-walled structures, similar to examples known from Greenland and Iceland, were found to contain a small number of Norse artefacts. The only site in the Americas with evidence of a Norse occupation, L’Anse aux Meadows is often cited as proof that



Newfoundland was the ‘Vinland’ of the Norse sagas.

R. McGhee: Canada rediscovered (Hull, 1991).


Lapita cultural complex Pacific archaeological assemblages characterized by distinctive pottery decorated by fine-toothed stamps, shell artefacts, obsidian and polished stone axes found from the Bismarck Archipelago to Tonga and Samoa. Dating from 3500 to 2000 BP, Lapita represents the first colonization of many areas of the western Pacific, and is regarded as one of the principal sources of Polynesian culture. At the same time, opinions differ as to whether the complex constitutes evidence for a specialized trade item, a single widespread (Austronesian-speaking?) group or even ‘some entity which is archaeologically recognizable, without having any clear social equivalent’ (Chippendale 1996: 733). See also


R.C. Green: ‘Lapita’, The prehistory of Polynesia, ed. J. Jennings (Canberra, 1979), 27–60; P.V. Kirch and T. Hunt: Archaeology of the Lapita cultural complex

(Seattle, 1988); M. Spriggs, ed.: Lapita design, form and composition (Canberra, 1990); J.C. Galipaud, ed.: Poterie Lapita et peuplement (Nouméa, 1992); C. Chippendale: Editorial, Antiquity 70 (1996), 729–39; W.R. Ambrose: ‘Contradictions in Lapita pottery, a composite clone’, Antiquity 71 (1997), 525–38.



Lascaux Most famous of France’s decorated caves of the Upper Palaeolithic, situated near Montignac in the Dordogne. Discovered in 1940, the parietal art consists of more than 600 paintings and 1500 engravings, many of which may date from the same period (according with Leroi-Gourhan’s style III). The ‘Hall of the Bulls’ is covered with paintings, including four massive black aurochs over 5 m in length, and an unidentified or ‘mythological’ animal with two very straight horns. The ‘Axial Gallery’ includes the famous image of a leaping cow and some very elegant horses. Deeper into the cave is a scene, possibly with narrative meaning

– highly unusual in Upper Palaeolithic art – showing a bird-headed man associated with a bison (which he appears to have speared), with a birdsymbol on a ‘stick’ nearby. In another apparent ‘scene’ in the ‘Nave’ area of the cave, the heads of a group of deer are shown; although the interpretation is uncertain, they seem to be in the act of

lifting their heads above the water as they swim across a river.

At Lascaux the animals tend to have disproportionately large bodies, and small heads and legs – sometimes referred to as the ‘Lascaux style’. The artists may have used scaffolding to make some depictions that are high up on the cave walls, and they left behind them numerous pieces of pigment mineral (ochre, manganese dioxide), simple lamps and tools that may have been used for engraving. Unfortunately the archaeological layers in the cave were never fully excavated and are now largely lost, but evidence of radiocarbon dating, pollen analysis and tool typology suggest that some (not necessarily all) of the paintings may date to around 15,000 BC.

Lascaux is now closed to the public, but Lascaux II, a replica of the Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery, has been created nearby. Lascaux II offers an example of a radical solution to a common dilemma in the management of ancient monuments

– how to balance the demands of site conservation with those of public access and education.

A. Leroi-Gourhan et al.: Lascaux inconnu, XIIe supplément à Gallia Préhistoire (Paris, 1979); –––– and

––––: Lascaux: art et archéologie (Perigueux, 1984); B. and D. Delluc: ‘Lascaux II: a faithful copy’, Antiquity 58 (1984), 194–6; M. Ruspoli et al.: The case of Lascaux: the final photographic record (London, 1987).


laser microprobe Generic term for analytical techniques which incorporate a power laser to excite or sample small areas on a material. The laser excitation may be coupled with a variety of techniques including optical emission spectroscopy



lashkari Bazar Islamic palace in Afghanistan dated to the 10th–12th centuries AD, which constitutes an important link back to Abbasid and central Asian traditions of architecture and painting (see ASIA 1). Lashkari Bazar characterizes the cultural milieu of the Ghaznavid rulers of eastern Iran and modern Afghanistan and the context in which the Seljuk Turks were Islamicized before going on to dominate Iran, Iraq and Anatolia in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Ghaznavid palace shows the impact of Abbasid influence from Baghdad and SAMARRA on the courts of these aspiring Muslim princes. For example, its axial symmetry is a recurrent characteristic of the Islamic palace tradition represented at and Samarra, and ulti-

mately derives from SASANIAN models. One of the most important discoveries at the palace was the group of wall-paintings that were excavated in the throne room, representing military figures standing in formal attendance on the prince. Their dress provides a good indication of textile decoration for the period and the frontality of their pose links them with pre-Islamic murals from central Asia.

D. Schlumberger et al.: Lashkari Bazar: une résidence royale ghaznide et ghoride (Paris, 1978).


Las Vegas Semi-sedentary culture in coastal Ecuador from c.7000 to 4500 BC, which was gathering or beginning to cultivate corn (Zea mays) and which had elaborate burial customs including the combination of past secondary burials with new ones and, in one case, the burial of a pair of lovers in an intimate position.

K.E. Stothert: La prehistoria temprana de la península de Santa Elena, Ecuador: cultura Las Vegas (Guayaquil, 1988).


La Tène Archaeological site on the shore of Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland, that has lent its name to the second part of the Iron Age in central and western Europe. The La Tène period begins after the HALLSTATT period ends in the 5th century BC and continues until the Roman Conquest; it is usually divided into La Tène I (c.480–220 BC), La Tène II (c.220–120 BC), and La Tène III (120 BC – Roman Conquest).

From at least the 1850s, the inundated site of La Tène was well known to antiquarians as a source of interesting objects. The lowering of water levels in Lake Neuchâtel in the 1870s allowed Emil Vouga to make a series of excavations, followed by his son Paul Vouga in 1907–17. The thousands of objects recovered included decorated and undecorated weaponry (especially swords, decorated scabbards), other iron implements, pottery etc. Although there is evidence at the site of what may be two small bridges, wooden walkways, and several buildings, it is still not entirely clear what kind of site La Tène was – settlement, trading harbour, or (most probably) a place where votive objects were ritually deposited into the shallow waters of the lake. Most of the objects date from the middle of the La Tène period in the 3rd century BC, so the site of La Tène is not representative of the La Tène period as a whole.

The distinctively decorated objects found at La


Tène came to form the typesite for a distinctive La Tène art-style (see CELTIC ART) found throughout much of Europe – from north Italy to south Poland, from Britain to Romania – from the early 5th century BC (conventionally, after 480 BC). While some elements of this style, and material culture generally, is related to that of the preceding HALLSTATT phase D, three major socio-economic changes help to define the La Tène period. Firstly, the upper Danube region ceases to be the epicentre of rich burials and exotic objects; instead the region notable for wealthy objects is in the Hunsrück-Eifel area of Germany, straddling the lower Mosel river. Hallstatt D burials are also known in this area, but it is only from the early 5th century BC that burials in this region start to be accompanied by exceptionally rich objects. Other rich areas during the La Tène include the central Rhine region, Champagne in eastern France, Belgium and the Thames valley in England.

Secondly, while strikingly rich objects, such as gold torcs and bronze vessels, mark out certain elite burials, even the Hunsrück-Eifel La Tène inhumations do not exhibit the huge tumuli and massive clusters of rich objects so characteristic of the classic Hallstatt D burials; in the La Tène period, the impression is of wealth spread more consistently and evenly across the regional elites. Although barrow burial does persist in the Hunsrück-Eifel, in most areas La Tène burials are simpler extended inhumations in small cemeteries. Of the burials accompanied by grave goods, the men have weapons (sword, spear, shield) and/or jewellery usually in the form of a brooch. The women tend to have multiple brooches and other femalespecific jewellery such as bracelets, torcs and finger-rings.

Thirdly, while objects continued to be imported from Greek and Etruscan cities of the Mediterranean, they seem to have been accessed from northern Italy, via the Alps, rather than from the Greek trading entrepot of Massalia. In the Hallstatt period, the impression is of a small number of individually powerful chieftains dealing directly with traders from Massalia – and thus occasionally being offered extraordinary gifts such as the Vix krater. In the La Tène period, the impression is of an elite with a less dependent trading relationship with the Mediterranean world.

Studies indicate that the richest burials of the Hunsrück-Eifel area seem related to distributions of haematite iron ore, indicating one possible source of wealth through control of an increasingly important raw material. As in the Hallstatt period, salt extraction proved a source of wealth, as evidenced by the


objects from Dürrnberg bei Hallein near Salzburg. Iron and salt were probably more important in local trade, while gold and slaves and fine weaponry perhaps contributed to the trade south of the Alps.

Hillforts continued to be a feature of the settlement hierarchy, along with smaller villages and single homesteads. However, in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, some settlements such as MANCHING in Bavaria (over 380 ha) developed to an unprecedented size and were apparently permanently and densely occupied. These characteristics, sometimes described as ‘proto-urban’, seem to have been driven by trade (Manching is close to the Danube and controlled an important crossing point) and to a lesser extent by a growth in craft production and specialisation. Whether such OPPIDA qualify as ‘proto-urban’ depends largely on how that term is defined: there is some evidence to suggest specialised craft production (metal-working, glassmaking, amber-working etc), the minting of coins, dedicated craft areas, dedicated ‘shops’ or trading and storage spaces, and semi-organized planning of the settlement layout; there is no evidence to suggest strict planning, public buildings, carefully thought out drainage systems, properly surfaced roads etc.

P. Vouga: La Tène: monographie de la station (Leipzig, 1923); J.M. De Navarro: The finds from the site of La Tène I: Scabbards and the swords found in them (London, 1972); B. Cunliffe: Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: spheres of interaction (London, 1988); P. Nicholson: Iron Age pottery production in the Hunsrück-Eifel-Kultur, BAR IS 501 (Oxford, 1989); N. Roymans: Tribal societies in northern Gaul (Amsterdam, 1990).


Laugerie Haute/Basse Laugerie Haute and Laugerie Basse are two rockshelters of the Upper Palaeolithic near Les Eyzies in the Dordogne, France. Laugerie Basse provided its 19th century excavators with a number of superb art objects, apparently from the later Magdalenian. The ‘Venus impudique,’ an ivory figurine lacking the usual exaggerated breasts but with a carefully detailed pubic region, was one of the earliest pieces of art mobilier to be discovered (1864). A particularly interesting antler plaque is engraved with a swollenbellied woman lying beneath the legs of a deer. Laugerie Haute yielded a much longer archaeological sequence from late Aurignacian,

GRAVETTIAN and SOLUTREAN through into the early MAGDALENIAN.

H. Delporte: L’image de la femme dans l’art prèhistorique

(Paris, 1979), 32–6.


Laussel Upper Palaeolithic rock shelter near Les Eyzies in the Dordogne, France, famed for a series of carved blocks uncovered during the site’s excavation (1908–14). The blocks were found partly covered by a GRAVETTIAN deposit, but they could conceivably have been produced in an earlier period. The carvings form a frieze, consisting of a few engravings of animals, three low-relief ‘Venuses’, one male and an enigmatic double figure. The most striking ‘Venus’ stands plump and nude, holding up a bison or ibex horn.

G. Lalanne and J. Bouyssonie: ‘Le gisement paléolithique de Laussel’, L’Anthropologie 50 (1946); H. Delporte:

L’image de la femme dans l’art préhistorique (Paris, 1979), 60–6.


La Venta Gulf coast OLMEC site in Tabasco, Mexico, with primarily late Middle Formative occupation (c.1000–600 BC). The site is best known from early excavations in Complex A, a group of earthen mounds arranged around a plaza on a northsouth axis of symmetry. Particularly notable are La Venta’s numerous caches and ‘massive offerings’ of deeply buried deposits of jade and serpentine, including mosaic jaguar masks and an elaborate stone sculptural tradition. Another distinctive feature of the site are the four ‘colossal heads’ carved from massive boulders of basalt, each weighing many tons. These heads wear helmet-like headdresses with distinctive motifs (e.g. a jaguar paw or eagle talons) and have such highly individualized features as to be considered portraits, probably of rulers (see Clewlow et al. 1967; Grove 1981).

C.W. Clewlow, Jr., R.A. Cowan, J.F. O’Connell and C. Benemann: Colossal heads of the Olmec culture, Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility 4 (Berkeley, 1967); R.F. Heizer, P. Drucker and J.A. Graham: Investigations at La Venta, 1967, Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility 520 (Berkeley, 1968), 1–34; D.C. Grove: ‘Olmec monuments; mutilation as a clue to meaning’, The Olmec and their neighbors, essays in memory of Matthew W. Stirling, ed. E.P. Benson (Washington, D.C., 1981), 49–68; W.F. Rust and R.J. Sharer: ‘Olmec settlement data from La Venta, Tabasco, Mexico’, Science 242 (1988) 102–4.



lead-210 (210Pb) dating (1) Scientific dating technique applicable to lead and lead white pigment and based on isotopes in the 238U decay series (see

also URANIUM SERIES DATING). When in equi-