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The five seasons of excavations which had taken place up to 1956 had very greatly extended the knowledge of the Neolithic of Jericho which had been obtained by Professor Garstang’s excavations of 1935-6. The type of well-built houses with rectangular rooms and burnished plaster floors had been found to extend all over the mound in a settlement at least the equal in size of the successive Bronze Age towns, and to have been defended, at a stage midway through its existence, by a massive stone wall. A Carbon-14 dating of c. 5850 B.C. ± was suggested by material from the immediately preceding fill. Earlier than this settlement, which it is claimed is worthy of the title of a town, was another, also of urban character, separated from the later by a complete stratigraphical break, with houses of a curvilinear plan, and with associated flint and bone industries of an entirely different type.
The problem of Roman windows and their furnishings has never been studied seriously in this country as so little evidence is usually forthcoming. Window glass is found in fair quantities on most sites and, where the pieces are large enough to indicate size, they would appear to be no more than g to 12 in. square, but there is little indication of how they were fastened into the window. Such technical details have unfortunately escaped attention in those countries where sufficient remains have been found to attempt reconstruction. While R. Herbig has discussed windows generally: the most detailed treatment has been that by Vittorio Spinazzola in his survey of the excavations of Via dell’ Abbondanza at Pompeii. As he indicates, while houses were only of one story, the window openings tended to be very small slits but, as soon as an upper floor was built, more light could be obtained without sacrificing safety or privacy. Once the advantages of this became apparent, new and larger windows were inserted on the ground floor, architectural ingenuity being displayed in directing the light to particular parts of a room where it was needed. He touches upon the question of the infilling without adding much detail. Some of the smaller windows appear to have been openings in the wall with wooden, sliding shutters on the inside. The larger ones were filled with iron gratings in a form of a simple grille which has been reconstructed as horizontal flat bars, through which round vertical bars passed, a piece of construction which seems to be unnecessarily difficult. A grille, merely of crossbars, has also been found at Herculaneum.
It is perhaps axiomatic that archaeological research in Baluchistan should raise as many questions as it answers, and the fieldwork carried out in Kalat in 1957 was no exception. Gradually, however, the nature of these problems is changing.
Prior to 1950 a superfluity of unrelated wares confronted the prehistorian and obscured the wider issues. Much of this pottery had been collected by the late Sir Aurel Stein from the numerous wind-eroded dambs which represent the mudbrick walls of ancient settlements. In the absence of any scientific excavation in this region it was difficult to relate the different painted wares or to group them into cultural assemblages, and the emphasis lay firmly on decorated pottery, since there was even less hope of sorting out unstratified plain wares.
The site of Troy was first occupied by men at some time not long before or after 3000 B.C. Whatthey built on the bedrock was the fortress of a chieftain, a few large wellfurnished houses within an oval of stout walls. After some 500 years the stronghold was consumed by a great fire; and the same people rebuilt a far bigger and stronger Troy, the Second City, with massive walls and monumental gates, and a great palace or temple on the summit of the enclosed hill. Some 300 years elapsed before this fortress, like the first, was totally destroyed by fire. The next settlement, Troy III, was relatively insignificant; Troy IV was not much more progressive; but Troy V rose to a higher level, performing much and promising more.
One of the most characteristic features of Sardinian architecture, playing an important part in the scenery of the island, is provided by the ancient, forbidding and imposing megalithic structures which the local inhabitants, in the original prehistoric and pre-Indo-European tongue, call nurakes, nuraghes, nuraxzk, nuraccis, nuragis, nuracus, etc., according to district and dialect. We generally know them by the Italian form of the word, nuraghi (singular nuraghe).
Built of large blocks set without mortar in more or less regular horizontal rows, the nuraghe, in its simplest form, appears as a round tower with battered sides. Its height depends upon the number, from one to three, of the storeys it contains, and may sometimes, as at the nuraghe Santu Antine at Torralba in the province of Sassari, reach as much as 20 m., with walls from 2 to 5 m. thick (PLATE VIId).
Rarely in recorded history has there been a louder and more persistent chorus of R complaint against the taxes than under the later Roman Empire. Already under Diocletian (284-305) Lactantius declares that the burden was intolerable, and under Justinian (527-565) Procopius raises the same lament. Nor was it only the taxpayers who complained. Valentinian III in 444-5 publicly admitted that ‘if we claim these expenses from the landowner in addition to what he pays already, such an exaction will crush his last feeble strength: if again we demand them from the merchants, they will inevitably sink under the weight of such a burden.’
It has been the general assumption that all the oldest New World cultures were direct importations from Asia–more specifically, from Siberia–and that the prototypes for their distinctive features must be sought in this latter area. A number of successive migrations by very different groups have been taken for granted to account for the varied archaeological picture in Palaeo-Indian times, to say nothing of the subsequent linguistic and physical diversity, but any contacts with the Old World on the Neo-Indian horizon have been generally viewed with suspicion. No specific evidence in support of this viewpoint has ever been adduced, it is true, but so long as Siberia remained a terra incognita, it was assumed that the proofs must be there, awaiting only the spade of the excavator. The proposition was argued, as it were, on the grounds of historical necessity.