The Art of the Middle East Including Persia, Mesopotamia and Palestine

By Leonard Woolley | Go to book overview

GLOSSARY
Achaemenids

Persian dynasty which ruled until 330 B.C. (Cyrus 546 B.C.).

acroliths

(Greek: akros, tapering; lithos, stone): statues of which the clothed parts are of wood and those parts left bare (head, feet, etc.) are of stone.

acroterion

(Greek): pinnacles on the horizontal coping or parapets of a gable, to be found on buildings, reliefs or sepulchral stelae.

anthemion

(Greek: decorative cluster of flowers): ornament of palmettes and a cluster of flowers.

apadana

columned hall (audience hall) of Achaemenid rulers.

baetylic stones

unhewn stones.

basalt

rock of igneous origin formed by consolidation of molten rock-material. The colour varies from black to a darkish grey according to the mineral composition, which also determines the grainy texture of the rock.

Bît Hilani

Assyrian temple-like type of palace with columned hall, adopted from the Syro-Hittites.

cartouche

(French): panel enclosing the name or symbol of a ruler (e.g., on vases and pitchers, but also on monuments).

cella

enclosed chamber in a temple, containing the idol.

chalcolithic

final phase of the neolithic.

chiaroscuro

(Italian): light and dark (term used in painting).

chiton

(Greek): a tunic of Semitic and Babylonian origin. It is made of linen or wool, sewn together along the sides and either sewn or fastened on the shoulders.

cire perdue

metal casting by the 'waste mould' process. The wax model is covered with clay. The wax is then melted out and molten metal poured into the cavity. Casting is completed by breaking away the mould.

cylinder seal

cylinder-shaped seal measuring some 1-6 cm. in length, bearing hieroglyphs or pictorial representations in intaglio, which is rolled out on to a soft material to make an impression.

Diadochi

(Greek: successors): generals of Alexander the Great among whom his empire was divided after his death, Babylon being allotted to Seleucus.

diorite

greyish-green plutonic igneous rock.

dolerite

a mineral allied to basalt of which the texture is medium-grained.

dromos

(Greek: race-course): entrance-passage to a sepulchral chamber.

electrum

alloy of gold and silver.

Enki

God of the Waters.

entasis

(Greek: strain): a term used in architecture to denote the curvature added to the taper of the shaft of a column in the Greek style.

Etana

figure in Mesopotamian mythology, frequently represented as a shepherd seized by an eagle.

fascine

faggot of brushwood bound together to support loose wails of earth, used in the construction of dikes, fortresses, etc.

frit

term used in glass-making to denote the calcination of the materials of which glass is made.

gem

precious or semi-precious stone bearing a deeply engraved image, hieroglyph, symbol, etc., in intaglio. The gem was used not only

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