Volume 19 : Articles

Southeast Asia

The Changing Scene

By: Elizabeth Lyons

In January of this year, 1977, I was in Burma trying to recruit a Burmese archaeolo­gist for the new Ford Foundation-University of Pennsylvania program designed to provide graduate training for Southeast Asian archaeologists; and I was also trying to assess the chances for a possible Burmese-University Museum excavation at some more future date. The predictions […]

Ancient Inventions for Tooling the Surfaces of Objects in Softer Metals

By: H. Bartlett Wells

Collectors of ancient Greek copper coins have often been puzzled by central pits that they find in the metal of their specimens. The pits are deliberately made with tools, so they must have a purpose. They have nothing to do with the design of the coin types or images, so they must relate to some […]

The Urartian Bronze Hoard From Giyimli

By: Orhan Aytug Tasyurek

Urartians, who appear with the name “Uruadri” in the Assyrian cuneiform inscrip­tions after the 13th century B.C., had estab­lished a kingdom in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, with its capital Tuspa (modern Van) in the beginning of the first millennium B.C. This kingdom became stronger from the 8th cen­tury B.C. onwards and expanded to Soviet Armenia and […]


By: James D. Muhly

The number of books published in the general field of archaeology seems to increase every year. And every year it becomes more and more important to distinguish between real archaeology, the product of knowledge and experience, and the non-archaeology or pseudo-archaeology being written by those eager to cash in on the ever present fascination with […]

A Late Shang Place of Sacrifice and its Historical Significance

By: A. Gutkind Bulling

In 1959 the Museum in Nanking made a trial dig in a place called Ch’iu-wan in T’ung­shan county, in the northern part of the province of Kiangsu. They discovered some remains of neolithic and Shang times and decided on a more thorough excavation. This was done in 1960. The report of the excavation was published […]


A Sensationally Rich Cemetery of the Karanovo Civilization, About 4500 B.C.

By: Marija Gimbutas

The cemetery of Varna on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria, excavated in 1973-76, is a prime addition to our knowledge of the Karanovo civilization. The eighty-one graves thus far uncovered, presumed to constitute about a half of the total number in the ceme­tery, are sensational for the extraordinary richness in gold, copper, marble, obsidian, […]

The Strange Practice of Firewalking

By: Paul G. Brewster

Of all phenomena, the ability of certain individuals to walk barefoot through fire without being burned is perhaps the most spectacular and unquestionably the most puzzling. Where and how the practice originated can only be a matter of conjecture. According to some firewalkers, it had its beginning in Central Asia, the ancient birthplace of man­kind. […]

The Earliest Uses of Clay in Syria

By: Denise Schmandt-Besserat

Clay is a soft and rich earthy substance consisting primarily of hydrated silicates of aluminum. It is a product of the decomposi­tion of feldspathic rocks by erosion. The very fine particles are usually transported by water and deposited in beds with various mineral and organic impurities. Clay is plastic when wet because its small crystals […]

Cherokee Indian Craftswomen and the Economy of Basketry

By: Bonita Freeman-Witthof

Cherokee, North Carolina did an eighteen million dollar tourist business in 1972. Much of this money went to outsiders who held leases on motels, restaurants, and tourist shops on the Qualla Boundary, land of the Corporation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. Many of the tourists who came there to look at Indians saw little […]

The Incidence of Lead in Late Shang and Early Chou Ritual Vessels

By: Katheryn M. Linduff

No evidence confirming the general use of bronze in Ancient China, now attested by archaeological remains, can so far be dated earlier than ca 1300 B.C. The most firmly dated context in which bronze was in general use was at Cheng-chou, Honan. The knowl­edge of sophisticated metalworking tech­niques and the ability to use them to […]