We are very pleased to welcome Kateryna Minakova (Dnipro University of Humanities) to give an ‘Off the Record’ World Archaeology Section seminar. A lecture about Bronze Age Catacomb Cultural and Historical Community – what do we know about it and what secrets are not discovered yet.
Would you replace the head of your dead relative with a goat’s skull? Nothing strange if you grow up in the catacomb culture!
The Catacomb culture (c. 2800–2200 BC) is a group of related cultures in the early Bronze Age, occupying essentially what is present-day eastern Ukraine and southern Russia.
The culture applied cord-imprinted decorations to its pottery and shows a profuse use of the polished battle axe, providing a link to the Corded Ware culture in the West. Parallels with the Afanasevo culture, including artificial cranial deformations, provide a link to the East. It was preceded by the Yamna culture. The Catacomb culture in the Pontic steppe was succeeded in the west by the Multi-cordoned ware culture from the 22nd century BC, and the Srubna culture from the 17th century BC onwards.
Miguel Fuentes, a PhD student and member of the World Archaeology section, has sent two short films relating to his research project.
This audio-visual material, developed in the framework of my doctoral research “Inca Expansion and Local Populations in the Highlands of Arica”, aims to collaborate with the promotion of the archaeological and cultural heritage of the indigenous communities and local populations of Northern Chile.
One of my goals with the release of this material is related to the fulfilment of the necessary social retribution in which researchers and intellectual workers must be engaged.
The Inca Tambo of Zapahuira and its surroundings (Arica Highlands – Chile)
The Inca Tambo of Zapahuira, located in the area of Putre in the Arica Region, was an Inca settlement that would have played a vital role in the functioning of the Inca road network of the Lluta and Azapa Valleys.
It has also been suggested that this site would have played the role of an administrative centre for the presence of the Tawantinsuyo in the area. In addition to the two Inca kanchas that characterize this site, there are important agricultural infrastructure works in the surroundings, such as the numerous cultivation terraces that cover the nearby slopes and the traces of old irrigation canals.
The Metallurgical-Ceremonial Centre of Huaycuta and the Collcas of Zapahuira (Arica Highlands – Chile)
The archaeological site of Huaycuta, located at the top of Cerro Sombrero and around two kilometres west of the modern town of Zapahuira, is characterized by the presence of several circular structures and stone alignments. This site would have constituted an important Metallurgical and Local Ceremonial Centre of the Late Intermediate Period and possibly during the Inca expansion.
In the case of Zapahuira Collcas, emplaced nearby Huaycuta, this site is formed by several rectangular units interpreted as Incan enclosures associated with storage functions.
Several groupings of isolated structures, land demarcations, chullpas and a possible Local Plaza can be found in the surroundings.
If any other section members have films or photographs of their research that they would like to share, please email us!
This Friday ‘Off the Record’ welcomes Dr Omniya Abdel Barr, Barakat Visiting Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum, who will speak about Creswell’s Archive at the V&A: Middle Eastern topographical photographs dating from the early 20th century.
Friday 1st December, 1-2pm in room B13. All welcome!
Professor Sir Keppel Archibald Cameron Creswell (1879 – 1974), a pioneer of medieval Islamic architectural scholarship, travelled extensively in the Middle East, photographing sites along the way and leaving an extremely important photographic archive which is now preserved in a number of international collections. Noting his expertise in the subject of Islamic art and architecture, as well as his unique opportunities to take such photographs, in the 1920s the V&A became the first public collection to acquire Creswell’s work. The Museum now holds more than three thousand of his photographic prints, the majority of which depict Cairo, but also other cities across the Middle East and North Africa.
As part of the V&A’s commitment to digitising and thus improving access to its collection, this archive is now being analysed and systematically catalogued by researcher Omniya Abdel Barr, with funding from the Barakat Trust. During this talk, she will discuss her efforts to investigate Creswell’s photographs as well as the stories they reveal; adding geospatial data to map these historic sites and including Arabic script which will allow this important collection to be more accessible to our audiences. The project will also support the identification of valuable architectural elements which are today lost, destroyed or stolen from Islamic monuments, permanently documenting the fading traces of these important cultural sites.