CYCLADIC: Concerning the Bronze Age of the Cyclades, Aegean Islands, equivalent to Helladic on the Greek mainland and Minoan in Crete. It is usually divided into three major divisions: Early (c. 3000–2000 bc), Middle (c. 2000–1550 bc), and Late (c. 1550–1050 bc). In the earlier Bronze Age, Cycladic culture seems to be largely independent, but in the late Middle Cycladic to early Late Cycladic, Minoan influence becomes important. After c. 1400 bc mainland (Mycenaean) influence replaces the Minoan and many islands were colonized by the Mycenaeans. Colin Renfrew has proposed an alternative Early Cycladic subdivision into Grotta-Pelos, Keros-Syros, and Phylakopi I – a culture sequence.
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CURRENCY BAR: A strip of iron about 4 cm (1.5 inches) wide and 30–90 cm (2–3 feet) long and pinched up at one end, which served as a unit of currency in Britain during the Late Iron Age, before the introduction of coins by the Belgae. The bars may have originated as sword
blanks or roughouts. Their distribution was mainly in Dorset and the Cotswolds, with some in the Severn Basin.
CUPISNIQUE: A style of pottery of the north coast of Peru during the Early Horizon, and a local variant of Chavín culture. It is most often associated with graves and is characteristically a polished gray–black ware with globular bodies, stirrup spouts, and relief decoration. Early Cupisnique tends to be strongly modeled by plastic manipulation of the surface. In later phases, red and black banding, separated by incision and life modeling, especially stylized felines, appear. The style dates from 900–200 bc and gave rise to three other styles: Salinar, Gallinazo, and Vicus.
CUMB AND RING MARK: The commonest form of rock carving in the British Isles, consisting of a cuplike depression surrounded by one or more concentric grooves. Cup-and-ring marks are found on standing stones, singular or in stone circles, and on the slabs of burial cists, as well on natural rock surfaces. In its classic form most cup-and-ring art belongs in the Bronze Age, but the motif occurs on passage graves, for example in the Clava tombs and on the capstones at Newgrange, where it may show links with similar rock carvings in northwest Spain. They are also found in Ireland and Scotland and can be dated to the Neolithic period of the 4th to 3rd millennium bc.