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Asian and African Studies

Volume 25, 2016, No. 2


Fortifications at Tell El-Retaba .
Miroslav Černý, Jozef Hudec

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Tell el-Retaba, defence walls, Migdol, mudbrick, grain-size curves

The article is on construction technique and materials, especially mudbricks and their composition, vis-a-vis specific situation in Tell el-Retaba. Bridging over a thousand years, the construction recommendations of Vitruvius are compared with the current situation on the tell. This article briefly describes three defence walls so far unearthed in Tell el-Retaba and focuses on the research of local ancient mudbricks. It presents results from the examinations of several samples of mudbrick and soil done during recent archaeological seasons. The samples were examined mainly by sieve analysis, testing density, dimensions, walling technique, etc., what also indirectly helps to determine approximate strength of mud bricks and their usage in single structures. The main result, grain-size curves, describing mudbrick composition and their relationship and potential reusing in constructions, are presented. Basic dimensions of the fortress’s gate – Migdol, and defence walls, based on preliminary static calculations of the bearing capacity of the subsoil are also estimated from the point of view of construction engineering.

How to cite:
Černý, M, Hudec, J. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 117-144.

The Ancient Egyptian Coffin in the Slovak National Museum: The Fragments Nos. 4, 5 and 6 of the Exterior Surface of the Lid.
Dušan Magdolen

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coffin, lid, vignettes, iconography, inscriptions

In this paper I deal with the analysis of the original decoration incompletely preserved on three fragments of the exterior surface of the lid. All three fragments nos. 4, 5 and 6 are situated in the lower part of the mummiform lid of the coffin below the knees. The identification and interpretation of the preserved rests of the original decorative patterns and motifs are presented and discussed here in more details for the first time. The description of vignettes and inscriptions discussed with the comparative material enables us to outline the decorative programme originally used in this part of the coffin which is important for the typological classification of the coffin as well as its dating.

How to cite:
Magdolen, D. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 145-162.

Fragment of a Ramesside Stela from Tell El-Retaba.
Jozef Hudec, Ľubica Hudáková

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Tell el-Retaba, Horbeit, stela, Re-Harakhty, Ramesses II

A fragment of a cream white limestone stela was found by accident at Tell el-Retaba during the season 2014. Its preserved shape is 22.5 cm x 25 cm. The frontal side of the stela is bordered by a rounded line framing the area decorated in sunk relief. The decoration features an almost completely preserved sun disc with the protruding head of a uraeus oriented rightwards, apparently the crown of a deity. An inscription identifies the figure as the god Re-Harakhty. Opposite the crown, there are remains of a cartouche whose right half is lost; the signs wsr, stp and n makes it obvious that the name of a Ramesside ruler was written in the cartouche. The stela JE 72307, kept in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, provides important parallels for interpretation of the Tell el-Retabaʼs fragment. The decoration and the workmanship show crucial similarities. It may be assumed that the stela from Tell el-Retaba also bore the representation of Ramesses II offering flowers to Re-Harakhty. Both stelae clearly belong to the corpus of so-called ‘Horbeit stelae’, which were probably exhibited in houses. They were most probably made at Qantir/Piramesse. It can only be assumed that the transfer to Tell el-Retaba took place in the Third Intermediate Period. A fragment of another ‘Horbeit stela’ was found at Tell el-Retaba in 1978 by Hans Goedickeʼs mission.

How to cite:
Hudec, J, Hudáková, Ľ. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 163-172.

The Rewriting of Jesus Christ: From the Saviour to the Proletarian – A Comparative Study of Zhu Weizhi´s Jesus Christ and Jesus the Proletarian .
Yan Liu

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Jesus Christ, the Saviour, proletarian, postcolonial resistance, indigenous theology

Zhu Weizhi, a Chinese Christian scholar, published his book Christianity and Literature in 1940, one of the first in China to study the relationship between Christianity and literature. However, it is not so well known that he also published two biographies of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ in 1948 and Jesus the Proletarian in 1950. In these two biographies, Zhu had very different opinions about Jesus who was changed from the Son of God or the Saviour to a son of the working class. Jesus is here described as a proletarian or a revolutionary after the founding of New China in 1949. By doing so Zhu tried to make his faith appropriate to Marxism and the socialist ideology of the day. This paper will attempt to explore the apparent ‘need’ for a rewriting of the Jesus narrative by Christian intellectuals around this period of Chinese history in order to discover whether this rewriting was prompted by old traditional Chinese cultural mores which arguably could be described as being non-Christian and non-Western in their spiritual and political outlooks? Or indeed was it due to widespread anxiety about the fate of the Chinese nation whose postcolonial visions of a new Utopian society compelled ‘Chinese Christianity’ to make adaptive changes more suitable to the ‘New China’. These and other relevant questions will be explored in this article.

How to cite:
Liu, Y. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 173-190.

Encountering Islam and Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa: from Orality to Literacy and to the Rise of Historical Writing in the Kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro .
Viera Vilhanová

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Islam, Christianity, kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro, Arabic and Latin scripts, Arabic and Kiswahili languages, orality, literacy, historical writing

Though the existence of script in some regions of Africa, in ancient Egypt, Kush, Nubia or the Ethiopian highlands led to the spread of literacy and of written knowledge, orality was the norm in many African societies in the past, and in much of Africa, historical and other knowledge remained to be constructed, maintained and conveyed by word of mouth, in poetic, musical and dramatic settings and graphic symbolism closely related to speech. Cultural contacts with Islam and later on with Christianity brought writing systems, Arabic and Latin scripts, literacy replaced orality and prompted the production of written knowledge. The arrival of Islam and somewhat later of Christianity into the kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro brought literacy in its train and led to the development of a rich tradition of historical writing.

How to cite:
Vilhanová, V. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 191-212.

Un Security Council 242 – Source of Lasting Arab Bitterness .
R. Sorby Karol

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different superpowers interests; UN Security Council Resolution 242, formula “land for peace”, deliberately ambiguous wording of the terms

The passage of Resolution 242 by the UN Security Council on 22 November 1967 was a major diplomatic achievement in the Arab-Israeli conflict. It emphasised “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and contained the formula that has since underlain all peace initiatives – land for peace. In exchange for withdrawing from Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian territory captured in the 1967 war, Israel was promised peace by the Arab states. The resolution provides the basis on which the peace talks between Israel and the Arabs could be conducted.

How to cite:
Sorby Karol, R. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 213-230.

International Migration from Asia and Africa – Issues and Challenges for Europe.
Ján Liďák

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international migration, migration from Asia and Africa, globalisation, state sovereignty, liberal state, undocumented migration, discrimination

This study pays attention to the phenomenon of international migration of the population from Asia and Africa to Europe, or more precisely to the European Union and attempts to point out that this is a category that brings a large number of problems to the political systems of European countries. In the case of population movement we can speak not only about the negatives, as the topic is presented in the current socio-political discourse, but we can also talk about the positives and benefits for receiving and sending countries. Positives and negatives are fundamentally influencing the policy of liberal-democratic nation states and this phenomenon is the cause of radicalisation and diversification of the policy in the European area.

How to cite:
Liďák, J. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 231-248.

Verbal Conjuncts in Slovak Romani .
Anna Rácová

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verbal conjuncts, formative verbs, verbo-nominal conjuncts, verbo-adverbial conjuncts, verbo-adjectival conjuncts, verbo-verbal conjuncts, Slovak Romani

A verbal conjunct is a multi-word (analytical) naming unit, which can be formed in Romani by joining a formative verb with a noun (lel goďi “to contemplate”, literally “to take reason”), with an adjective (ačhel korkoro “to be left alone”, literally “to be lonely”), with an adverb (ačhel palal “to be late”, literally “to be in the back”) and, in some specific cases, also with a verb (del te šunel “to show/manifest”, literally “to give to feel”). A verbal conjunct constitutes a complex unit, both from a lexical (it has a verbal meaning as a whole) and a syntactic point of view (it functions as a constituent of a sentence - predicate). Its grammatical categories, i. e., its person, number and tense, are expressed in the formative verb, which can also serve to express the lexical-grammatical category of progressivity or regressivity of a verbal action (del kejčeň “to lend”, lel kejčeň “to borrow”, kerel žužo “to make sth clear”, ačhel žužo “to clear up”) and aspectuality (the spatial orientation of action “out of”: čhivel avri andal o them “to banish”, čhivel e jakh avri “to peep out”; inchoativeness: thovel roviben “to burst into tears”). The lexical meaning of the formative verb is significantly weakened or completely lost in the verbal conjunct. The lexical meaning of the verbal conjunct is therefore often based on its non-verbal component (chal dar “to fear”, literally “to eat fear”), or both components lose their original meaning in the resultant phraseological unit (čhivel phuripen “to make excuses”, literally, “to throw old age”).

How to cite:
Rácová, A. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 249-265.

Brief Notes on the Concepts of Lisān and Lugha within the Framework of the Medieval Berber Langauge through Some Examples .
Mohamed Meouak

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Medieval Maghreb, Berber language, dialects, history, geography

This study seeks to subject to scrutiny a range of data concerning some regional variants of the Berber language in medieval Maghreb. Offering information taken from different types of Arabic sources, we examine concepts of “language” possibly embodied in the term lisān (plural alsina, alsun), and of “dialect(s)” illustrated by the use of the word lugha (plural lughāt). The content presented enables an exploration of the ideas that Arabic writers used the language as an instrument for transmitting facts, and thereby establishing the outlines of debate as to whether the Berber language occupied a privileged position in medieval Maghrebian society.

How to cite:
Meouak, M. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 266-280.

İpek Yolu Kavşağının Ölümsüzlük Eserleri. [The Deathless Monuments of the Silk Road].
Erdem Uçar

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How to cite:
Uçar, E. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 289-290.


Book Review:

Iraqi Politics in the Shadow of the Military (1936-1941) .
Eduard Gombár

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How to cite:
Gombár, E. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 288-289.



New Book about Marián Gálik was Published in Beijing .
Daniela Zhang-Cziráková

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This is an interview with Dr. Marián Gálik at the ocassion of publishing the book concerning to his research written by Mrs. Yang Yuying. Dr. Gálik mentions here his lifelong work in the field of Chinese studies, his studies of sinology at Charles University in Prague and the whole atmosphere of Prague sinology in the time of his studies, the situation in modern and contemporary Chinese literature, influence of Western intellectual history on modern and contemporary Chinese literature.

How to cite:
Zhang-Cziráková, D. . Asian and African Studies, 25(2), 281-287.