Portal:Archaeology/Selected article

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Featured articles

Usage

The layout design for these subpages is at Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/Layout.

  1. Add a new Selected article to the next available subpage.
  2. Update "max=" to new total for its {{Random portal component}} on the main page.

Selected articles list

Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/1

The pyramids are among the most recognizable symbols of the civilization of ancient Egypt.
Ancient Egypt was a civilization in eastern North Africa concentrated along the middle to lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern nation of Egypt. The civilization began around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh, and it developed over the next three millennia. Its history occurred in a series of stable periods, known as kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods. After the end of the last kingdom, known as the New Kingdom, the civilization of ancient Egypt entered a period of slow, steady decline, during which Egypt was conquered by a succession of foreign powers. The rule of the pharaohs officially ended in 31 BC when the early Roman Empire conquered Egypt and made it a province. The civilization of ancient Egypt thrived from its adaptation to the conditions of the Nile River Valley. Controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which fueled 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 that defeated foreign enemies and asserted Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a divine pharaoh who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people through an elaborate system of religious beliefs.
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/2

The main entrance to the temple proper, seen from the eastern end of the Naga causeway.
Angkor Wat is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation—first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors. Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 km (2.2 miles) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls. The modern name, Angkor Wat, in use by the 16th century, means "City Temple": Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara (capital), while wat is the Khmer word for temple. Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok, after the posthumous title of its founder, Suryavarman II. Angkor Wat lies 5.5 km north of the modern town of Siem Reap, and a short distance south and slightly east of the previous capital, which was centred on the Baphuon.
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/3 Borobudur is a ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome is located at the center of the top platform, and is surrounded by seventy-two Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa. The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely, Kamadhatu (the world of desire); Rupadhatu (the world of forms); and Arupadhatu (the world of formless). During the journey, the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades. Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. It was rediscovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Raffles, the British ruler of Java. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage, where once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.

...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/4

Casa Rinconada, one of the Chacoan Great Houses.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. The park is located in northwestern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a relatively inaccessible canyon cut by the Chaco Wash. Containing the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, the park preserves one of America's most fascinating cultural and historic areas. Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes which remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century. Evidence of archaeoastronomy at Chaco has been proposed, with the "Sun Dagger" petroglyph at Fajada Butte a popular example. Many Chacoan buildings may have been aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, requiring generations of astronomical observations and centuries of skillfully coordinated construction. Climate change is thought to have led to the emigration of Chacoans and the eventual abandonment of the canyon, beginning with a 50-year drought in 1130. Located in the arid and inhospitable Four Corners region, the Chacoan cultural sites are fragile; fears of erosion caused by tourists have led to the closure of Fajada Butte to the public. The sites are considered sacred ancestral homelands of the Hopi and Pueblo people, who continue to maintain oral traditions recounting their historical migration from Chaco and their spiritual relationship to the land.
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/5

David S. Cohen wrote the episode after being inspired by a visit to the American Museum of Natural History.
"Lisa the Skeptic" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season, first aired on November 23, 1997. On an archaeological dig with her class, Lisa discovers a skeleton that resembles an angel. All of the townspeople believe that the skeleton actually came from an angel, but skeptical Lisa attempts to persuade them that there must be a rational scientific explanation. The skeleton is later revealed to be a publicity stunt for a new mall opening in Springfield, and the townspeople forget their concerns about the skeleton to go shopping. Writer David S. Cohen had the inspiration for the episode after visiting the American Museum of Natural History, and decided to loosely parallel themes from the Scopes Monkey Trial. The episode has been discussed in the context of concepts involving virtual reality, ontology, existentialism, and skepticism. The episode received mixed reviews, but has since been used in Christian religious education classes to form a discussion around angels, skepticism, and the balance between science and faith.As Homer attempts to get a motorboat from a "police raffle" that turns out to be a sting operation, a new mall in Springfield is being built on an area where a large number of fossils were found. Lisa condemns and protests the building of the mall. Thanks to her protest, it prompts the school to conduct an archaeological dig. During the excavations, Lisa finds a human skeleton with wings. Springfield's residents are convinced it is an angel, and Homer cashes in by moving the skeleton into the family's garage. Lisa remains skeptical and—believing it may not actually be an angel—has Stephen Jay Gould test a sample.
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/6

Image:PeruCaral01.jpg
The Norte Chico civilization was a complex Pre-Columbian society that included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru. It is the oldest known civilization in the Americas, having flourished between the 30th century BC and the 18th century BC. The alternative name, Caral-Supe, is derived from Caral in the Supe Valley, a large and well-studied Norte Chico site. Complex society in Norte Chico emerged just a millennium after Sumer, was contemporaneous with the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, and predated the Mesoamerican Olmec by nearly two millennia. In archaeological nomenclature, Norte Chico is a Preceramic culture of the pre-Columbian Late Archaic; it completely lacked ceramics and was largely without art. The most impressive achievement of the civilization was its monumental architecture, including large platform mounds and sunken circular plazas. Archaeological evidence suggests use of textile technology and, possibly, the worship of common god symbols, both of which recur in pre-Columbian Andean cultures. Sophisticated government is assumed to have been required to manage the ancient Norte Chico, and questions remain over its organization, particularly the impact of food resources on politics. Archaeologists have been aware of ancient sites in the area since at least the 1940s; early work occurred at Aspero on the coast, a site identified as early as 1905, and later at Caral further inland. Peruvian archaeologists, led by Ruth Shady Solís, provided the first extensive documentation of the civilization in the late 1990s, with work at Caral.
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/7

Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo was a polymathic Chinese scientist and statesman of the Song Dynasty. Excelling in many fields of study and statecraft, he was a mathematician, astronomer, meteorologist, geologist, zoologist, botanist, pharmacologist, agronomist, archaeologist, ethnographer, cartographer, encyclopedist, general, diplomat, hydraulic engineer, inventor, academy chancellor, finance minister, governmental state inspector, poet, and musician. He was the head official for the Bureau of Astronomy in the Song court, as well as an Assistant Minister of Imperial Hospitality. At court his political allegiance was to the Reformist faction known as the New Policies Group, headed by Chancellor Wang Anshi. In his Dream Pool Essays of 1088, Shen was the first to describe the magnetic needle compass, which would be used for navigation. Shen discovered the concept of true north in terms of magnetic declination towards the north pole, with experimentation of suspended magnetic needles and "the improved meridian determined by Shen’s astronomical measurement of the distance between the polestar and true north". This was the decisive step in human history to make compasses more useful for navigation, and may have been a concept unknown in Europe for another four hundred years. Alongside his colleague Wei Pu, Shen accurately mapped the orbital paths of the moon and the planets, in an intensive five-year project that rivaled the later work of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/8

Vasa's port side bow
Vasa was a warship that was built for King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden from 1626 to 1628. The ship sank after sailing less than 1-nautical-mile (1.9 km) into her maiden voyage on August 10, 1628. Vasa fell into obscurity after initial attempts at recovering her valuable cannons in the 17th century but was located again in the late 1950s, in a busy shipping lane just outside the Stockholm harbour. She was salvaged with a largely intact hull on April 24, 1961. She was housed in a temporary museum called Wasavarvet ("The Wasa Shipyard") until 1987, and was then moved to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The ship is one of Sweden's most popular tourist attractions and, as of 2007, has attracted more than 25 million visitors. Vasa was built top-heavy with insufficient ballast. Despite an obvious lack of stability in port, she was allowed to set sail and foundered a few minutes later when she first encountered a wind stronger than a breeze. The impulsive move to set sail resulted from a combination of factors. King Gustavus Adolphus, who was abroad on the date of her maiden voyage, was impatient to see Vasa join the Baltic fleet in the Thirty Years' War. At the same time, the king's subordinates lacked the political courage to discuss the ship's structural problems frankly or to have the maiden voyage postponed. An inquiry was organized by the privy council to find someone responsible for the disaster, but no sentences were handed out. During the 1961 recovery, thousands of artifacts and the remains of at least 15 people were found in and around the hull of the Vasa by marine archaeologists.
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/9

Northern Song in 1111
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960–1279 CE; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese polity to establish a permanent standing navy. The population of China doubled in size during the 10th and 11th centuries. This growth came through expanded rice cultivation in central and southern China, the use of early-ripening rice from southeast and southern Asia, and the production of abundant food surpluses. Within its borders, the Northern Song Dynasty had a population of some 100 million people. This dramatic increase of population fomented and fueled an economic revolution in premodern China. The expansion of the population was partially the cause for the gradual withdrawal of the central government from heavily regulating the market economy. A much larger populace also increased the importance of the lower gentry's role in grassroots administration and maintaining local affairs, while the appointed officials in county and provincial centers relied upon these scholarly gentry for their services, sponsorship, and local supervision. The Song Dynasty is divided into two distinct periods: the Northern Song and Southern Song. During the Northern Song , the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing (now Kaifeng) and the dynasty controlled most of inner China. The Southern Song refers to the period after the Song lost control of northern China to the Jin Dynasty. During this time, the Song court retreated south of the Yangtze River and established their capital at Lin'an (now Hangzhou). Although the
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/10

China under the Tang Dynasty (teal) circa 700 AD
The Tang Dynasty (June 18, 618–June 4, 907) was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It was founded by the Li (李) family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire. The dynasty was interrupted briefly by the Second Zhou Dynasty (October 16, 690–March 3, 705) when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, becoming the first and only Chinese empress regnant, ruling in her own right. The Tang Dynasty, with its capital at Chang'an (present-day Xi'an), the most populous city in the world at the time, is regarded by historians as a high point in Chinese civilization—equal to or surpassing that of the earlier Han Dynasty—as well as a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, was greater than that of the Han period, and rivaled that of the later Yuan Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. The enormous Grand Canal of China, built during the previous Sui Dynasty, facilitated the rise of new urban settlements along its route as well as increased trade between mainland Chinese markets. The canal is to this day the longest in the world. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records stated that the population (by number of registered households) was about 50 million people. However, even when the central government was breaking down and unable to exact an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population in that century had grown to the size of about 80 million people.
...Archive/Nominations



Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/11 Portal:Archaeology/Selected article/11

Nominations

Feel free to add related articles Featured articles to the above list.