WorldWideScience

Sample records for ancient hominin dispersals

  1. Does Environmental Knowledge Inhibit Hominin Dispersal?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wren, Colin D; Costopoulos, Andre

    2015-07-01

    We investigated the relationship between the dispersal potential of a hominin population, its local-scale foraging strategies, and the characteristics of the resource environment using an agent-based modeling approach. In previous work we demonstrated that natural selection can favor a relatively low capacity for assessing and predicting the quality of the resource environment, especially when the distribution of resources is highly clustered. That work also suggested that the more knowledge foraging populations had about their environment, the less likely they were to abandon the landscape they know and disperse into novel territory. The present study gives agents new individual and social strategies for learning about their environment. For both individual and social learning, natural selection favors decreased levels of environmental knowledge, particularly in low-heterogeneity environments. Social acquisition of detailed environmental knowledge results in crowding of agents, which reduces available reproductive space and relative fitness. Agents with less environmental knowledge move away from resource clusters and into areas with more space available for reproduction. These results suggest that, rather than being a requirement for successful dispersal, environmental knowledge strengthens the ties to particular locations and significantly reduces the dispersal potential as a result. The evolved level of environmental knowledge in a population depends on the characteristics of the resource environment and affects the dispersal capacity of the population.

  2. Paleogenetic investigations of hominin diversity and dispersals in Eurasian prehistory

    OpenAIRE

    Posth, Cosimo

    2017-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) is able to provide genetic snapshots into the human past that can be linked together to study evolutionary processes and demographic patterns impossible to uncover with the study of modern-day DNA alone. In this thesis I make use of major methodological “game changers” in the field of aDNA in order to reconstruct complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), as well as genome-wide nuclear data (nDNA) from ancient human specimens. The combination of next generation sequencing (NGS) te...

  3. Hydrologic and Agent-based Modelling of Hydro-refugia in East Africa, Insights into the Importance of Water Resources in Hominin Evolution and Dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, G. M.; Cuthbert, M. O.; Gleeson, T. P.; Reynolds, S. R.; Bennett, M. R.; Newton, A. C.; McCormack, C. J.

    2017-12-01

    Hominin evolution and climate variability have often been linked because of the apparent coincidence of climate fluctuations and speciation or extinctions, although the cause and effect of climate on natural selection is not clear. Climate in the EARS (East African Rift System) where most hominin first occurrences are located experienced an overall drying over the last 7 myr. Superimposed on this trend, Milankovitch cycles generated wet-dry precession cycles ( 23 kyr) that changed both water and food resource availability. During dry periods, lakes became more alkaline and rivers ephemeral but, groundwater, buffered from surface climate effects, remained a potential resource during the driest of times. The possibility of widespread groundwater sources hydro-refugia, such as springs, wetlands and groundwater-fed perennial streams has received little attention with respect to the paleoenvironmental context of hominin evolution or dispersal. We demonstrate that hydrogeological modelling of the modern landscape in East Africa coupled with ABM (agent-based modelling) of hominin movement yields new insight into potential correlates of hominin survival and dispersal. Digitized hydrological mapping of present day rivers, lakes and springs along the EARS (2000 km) from northern Tanzania to Ethiopia provided the modelling framework. Present day conditions are considered analogous to past dry periods; wet period conditions are an expanded hydrologic network including all surface water bodies. Our focus was on perennial springs discharging at 1,000 m3/y (volume to sustain a small wetland). 450 such springs occur and were found to be significantly controlled by geology, not just climate. The ABM was designed to determine if it was possible for humans to walk between hydro-refugia in 3 days. Four climate scenarios were run on ABM: wet, wet-to-dry, dry and dry-to-wet. During dry periods our results suggest that groundwater availability would have been critical to supporting

  4. Investigating the global dispersal of chickens in prehistory using ancient mitochondrial DNA signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storey, Alice A; Athens, J Stephen; Bryant, David; Carson, Mike; Emery, Kitty; deFrance, Susan; Higham, Charles; Huynen, Leon; Intoh, Michiko; Jones, Sharyn; Kirch, Patrick V; Ladefoged, Thegn; McCoy, Patrick; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Quiroz, Daniel; Reitz, Elizabeth; Robins, Judith; Walter, Richard; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Data from morphology, linguistics, history, and archaeology have all been used to trace the dispersal of chickens from Asian domestication centers to their current global distribution. Each provides a unique perspective which can aid in the reconstruction of prehistory. This study expands on previous investigations by adding a temporal component from ancient DNA and, in some cases, direct dating of bones of individual chickens from a variety of sites in Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas. The results from the ancient DNA analyses of forty-eight archaeologically derived chicken bones provide support for archaeological hypotheses about the prehistoric human transport of chickens. Haplogroup E mtDNA signatures have been amplified from directly dated samples originating in Europe at 1000 B.P. and in the Pacific at 3000 B.P. indicating multiple prehistoric dispersals from a single Asian centre. These two dispersal pathways converged in the Americas where chickens were introduced both by Polynesians and later by Europeans. The results of this study also highlight the inappropriate application of the small stretch of D-loop, traditionally amplified for use in phylogenetic studies, to understanding discrete episodes of chicken translocation in the past. The results of this study lead to the proposal of four hypotheses which will require further scrutiny and rigorous future testing.

  5. Investigating the Global Dispersal of Chickens in Prehistory Using Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Signatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storey, Alice A.; Athens, J. Stephen; Bryant, David; Carson, Mike; Emery, Kitty; deFrance, Susan; Higham, Charles; Huynen, Leon; Intoh, Michiko; Jones, Sharyn; Kirch, Patrick V.; Ladefoged, Thegn; McCoy, Patrick; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Quiroz, Daniel; Reitz, Elizabeth; Robins, Judith; Walter, Richard; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Data from morphology, linguistics, history, and archaeology have all been used to trace the dispersal of chickens from Asian domestication centers to their current global distribution. Each provides a unique perspective which can aid in the reconstruction of prehistory. This study expands on previous investigations by adding a temporal component from ancient DNA and, in some cases, direct dating of bones of individual chickens from a variety of sites in Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas. The results from the ancient DNA analyses of forty-eight archaeologically derived chicken bones provide support for archaeological hypotheses about the prehistoric human transport of chickens. Haplogroup E mtDNA signatures have been amplified from directly dated samples originating in Europe at 1000 B.P. and in the Pacific at 3000 B.P. indicating multiple prehistoric dispersals from a single Asian centre. These two dispersal pathways converged in the Americas where chickens were introduced both by Polynesians and later by Europeans. The results of this study also highlight the inappropriate application of the small stretch of D-loop, traditionally amplified for use in phylogenetic studies, to understanding discrete episodes of chicken translocation in the past. The results of this study lead to the proposal of four hypotheses which will require further scrutiny and rigorous future testing. PMID:22848352

  6. The Pacific Rat Race to Easter Island: Tracking the Prehistoric Dispersal of Rattus exulans Using Ancient Mitochondrial Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrina West

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The location of the immediate eastern Polynesian origin for the settlement of Easter Island (Rapa Nui, remains unclear with conflicting archeological and linguistic evidence. Previous genetic commensal research using the Pacific rat, Rattus exulans; a species transported by humans across Remote Oceania and throughout the Polynesian Triangle, has identified broad interaction spheres across the region. However, there has been limited success in distinguishing finer-scale movements between Remote Oceanic islands as the same mitochondrial control region haplotype has been identified in the majority of ancient rat specimens. To improve molecular resolution and identify a pattern of prehistoric dispersal to Easter Island, we sequenced complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient Pacific rat specimens obtained from early archeological contexts across West and East Polynesia. Ancient Polynesian rat haplotypes are closely related and reflect the widely supported scenario of a central East Polynesian homeland region from which eastern expansion occurred. An Easter Island and Tubuai (Austral Islands grouping of related haplotypes suggests that both islands were established by the same colonization wave, proposed to have originated in the central homeland region before dispersing through the south-eastern corridor of East Polynesia.

  7. Ancient and modern DNA reveal dynamics of domestication and cross-continental dispersal of the dromedary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almathen, Faisal; Charruau, Pauline; Mohandesan, Elmira; Mwacharo, Joram M.; Orozco-terWengel, Pablo; Pitt, Daniel; Abdussamad, Abdussamad M.; Uerpmann, Margarethe; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter; De Cupere, Bea; Magee, Peter; Alnaqeeb, Majed A.; Salim, Bashir; Raziq, Abdul; Dessie, Tadelle; Abdelhadi, Omer M.; Banabazi, Mohammad H.; Al-Eknah, Marzook; Walzer, Chris; Faye, Bernard; Hofreiter, Michael; Peters, Joris; Hanotte, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Dromedaries have been fundamental to the development of human societies in arid landscapes and for long-distance trade across hostile hot terrains for 3,000 y. Today they continue to be an important livestock resource in marginal agro-ecological zones. However, the history of dromedary domestication and the influence of ancient trading networks on their genetic structure have remained elusive. We combined ancient DNA sequences of wild and early-domesticated dromedary samples from arid regions with nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial genotype information from 1,083 extant animals collected across the species’ range. We observe little phylogeographic signal in the modern population, indicative of extensive gene flow and virtually affecting all regions except East Africa, where dromedary populations have remained relatively isolated. In agreement with archaeological findings, we identify wild dromedaries from the southeast Arabian Peninsula among the founders of the domestic dromedary gene pool. Approximate Bayesian computations further support the “restocking from the wild” hypothesis, with an initial domestication followed by introgression from individuals from wild, now-extinct populations. Compared with other livestock, which show a long history of gene flow with their wild ancestors, we find a high initial diversity relative to the native distribution of the wild ancestor on the Arabian Peninsula and to the brief coexistence of early-domesticated and wild individuals. This study also demonstrates the potential to retrieve ancient DNA sequences from osseous remains excavated in hot and dry desert environments. PMID:27162355

  8. The origin and dispersal of the domesticated Chinese oak silkworm, Antheraea pernyi, in China: a reconstruction based on ancient texts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanqun; Li, Yuping; Li, Xisheng; Qin, Li

    2010-01-01

    Sericulture is one of the great inventions of the ancient Chinese. Besides the mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori), Chinese farmers developed rearing of the Chinese oak silkworm (Antheraea pernyi) about 400 years ago. In this paper, the historic records of the origins and dispersal of the domesticated Chinese oak silkworm in China are summarized. The first document with clearly recorded oak silkworm artificial rearing appeared in 1651, although Chinese oak silkworm was documented in about 270 AD. All of the evidence in the available historic records suggests that the domesticated Chinese oak silkworm originated in central and southern areas of Shandong Province in China around the 16th century, and then was introduced directly and indirectly by human commerce into the present habitations in China after the late 17th century. The results strongly support the hypothesis that only one geographically distinct event occurred in domestication of the modern Chinese oak silkworm.

  9. Biogeographic analysis reveals ancient continental vicariance and recent oceanic dispersal in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyron, R Alexander

    2014-09-01

    Amphibia comprises over 7000 extant species distributed in almost every ecosystem on every continent except Antarctica. Most species also show high specificity for particular habitats, biomes, or climatic niches, seemingly rendering long-distance dispersal unlikely. Indeed, many lineages still seem to show the signature of their Pangaean origin, approximately 300 Ma later. To date, no study has attempted a large-scale historical-biogeographic analysis of the group to understand the distribution of extant lineages. Here, I use an updated chronogram containing 3309 species (∼ 45% of extant diversity) to reconstruct their movement between 12 global ecoregions. I find that Pangaean origin and subsequent Laurasian and Gondwanan fragmentation explain a large proportion of patterns in the distribution of extant species. However, dispersal during the Cenozoic, likely across land bridges or short distances across oceans, has also exerted a strong influence. Finally, there are at least three strongly supported instances of long-distance oceanic dispersal between former Gondwanan landmasses during the Cenozoic. Extinction from intervening areas seems to be a strong factor in shaping present-day distributions. Dispersal and extinction from and between ecoregions are apparently tied to the evolution of extraordinarily adaptive expansion-oriented phenotypes that allow lineages to easily colonize new areas and diversify, or conversely, to extremely specialized phenotypes or heavily relictual climatic niches that result in strong geographic localization and limited diversification. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Ancient dispersal of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii from the Amazon rainforest.

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    Hagen, Ferry; Ceresini, Paulo C; Polacheck, Itzhack; Ma, Hansong; van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Gabaldón, Toni; Kagan, Sarah; Pursall, E Rhiannon; Hoogveld, Hans L; van Iersel, Leo J J; Klau, Gunnar W; Kelk, Steven M; Stougie, Leen; Bartlett, Karen H; Voelz, Kerstin; Pryszcz, Leszek P; Castañeda, Elizabeth; Lazera, Marcia; Meyer, Wieland; Deforce, Dieter; Meis, Jacques F; May, Robin C; Klaassen, Corné H W; Boekhout, Teun

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, several fungal outbreaks have occurred, including the high-profile 'Vancouver Island' and 'Pacific Northwest' outbreaks, caused by Cryptococcus gattii, which has affected hundreds of otherwise healthy humans and animals. Over the same time period, C. gattii was the cause of several additional case clusters at localities outside of the tropical and subtropical climate zones where the species normally occurs. In every case, the causative agent belongs to a previously rare genotype of C. gattii called AFLP6/VGII, but the origin of the outbreak clades remains enigmatic. Here we used phylogenetic and recombination analyses, based on AFLP and multiple MLST datasets, and coalescence gene genealogy to demonstrate that these outbreaks have arisen from a highly-recombining C. gattii population in the native rainforest of Northern Brazil. Thus the modern virulent C. gattii AFLP6/VGII outbreak lineages derived from mating events in South America and then dispersed to temperate regions where they cause serious infections in humans and animals.

  11. A 400,000-year-old mitochondrial genome questions phylogenetic relationships amongst archaic hominins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre

    2014-01-01

    By combining state-of-the-art approaches in ancient genomics, Meyer and co-workers have reconstructed the mitochondrial sequence of an archaic hominin that lived at Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain about 400,000 years ago. This achievement follows recent advances in molecular anthropology that delivere...

  12. Aridity and hominin environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, Scott A.; Levin, Naomi E.; Brown, Francis H.; Brugal, Jean-Philip; Chritz, Kendra L.; Harris, John M.; Jehle, Glynis E.; Cerling, Thure E.

    2017-07-01

    Aridification is often considered a major driver of long-term ecological change and hominin evolution in eastern Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene; however, this hypothesis remains inadequately tested owing to difficulties in reconstructing terrestrial paleoclimate. We present a revised aridity index for quantifying water deficit (WD) in terrestrial environments using tooth enamel δ18O values, and use this approach to address paleoaridity over the past 4.4 million years in eastern Africa. We find no long-term trend in WD, consistent with other terrestrial climate indicators in the Omo-Turkana Basin, and no relationship between paleoaridity and herbivore paleodiet structure among fossil collections meeting the criteria for WD estimation. Thus, we suggest that changes in the abundance of C4 grass and grazing herbivores in eastern Africa during the Pliocene and Pleistocene may have been decoupled from aridity. As in modern African ecosystems, other factors, such as rainfall seasonality or ecological interactions among plants and mammals, may be important for understanding the evolution of C4 grass- and grazer-dominated biomes.

  13. Earliest hominin occupation of Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Li, Bo; Brumm, Adam; Grün, Rainer; Yurnaldi, Dida; Moore, Mark W.; Kurniawan, Iwan; Setiawan, Ruly; Aziz, Fachroel; Roberts, Richard G.; Suyono; Storey, Michael; Setiabudi, Erick; Morwood, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Sulawesi is the largest and oldest island within Wallacea, a vast zone of oceanic islands separating continental Asia from the Pleistocene landmass of Australia and Papua (Sahul). By one million years ago an unknown hominin lineage had colonized Flores immediately to the south, and by about 50 thousand years ago, modern humans (Homo sapiens) had crossed to Sahul. On the basis of position, oceanic currents and biogeographical context, Sulawesi probably played a pivotal part in these dispersals. Uranium-series dating of speleothem deposits associated with rock art in the limestone karst region of Maros in southwest Sulawesi has revealed that humans were living on the island at least 40 thousand years ago (ref. 5). Here we report new excavations at Talepu in the Walanae Basin northeast of Maros, where in situ stone artefacts associated with fossil remains of megafauna (Bubalus sp., Stegodon and Celebochoerus) have been recovered from stratified deposits that accumulated from before 200 thousand years ago until about 100 thousand years ago. Our findings suggest that Sulawesi, like Flores, was host to a long-established population of archaic hominins, the ancestral origins and taxonomic status of which remain elusive.

  14. A Spring Forward for Hominin Evolution in East Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, Mark O.; Ashley, Gail M.

    2014-01-01

    Groundwater is essential to modern human survival during drought periods. There is also growing geological evidence of springs associated with stone tools and hominin fossils in the East African Rift System (EARS) during a critical period for hominin evolution (from 1.8 Ma). However it is not known how vulnerable these springs may have been to climate variability and whether groundwater availability may have played a part in human evolution. Recent interdisciplinary research at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, has documented climate fluctuations attributable to astronomic forcing and the presence of paleosprings directly associated with archaeological sites. Using palaeogeological reconstruction and groundwater modelling of the Olduvai Gorge paleo-catchment, we show how spring discharge was likely linked to East African climate variability of annual to Milankovitch cycle timescales. Under decadal to centennial timescales, spring flow would have been relatively invariant providing good water resource resilience through long droughts. For multi-millennial periods, modelled spring flows lag groundwater recharge by 100 s to 1000 years. The lag creates long buffer periods allowing hominins to adapt to new habitats as potable surface water from rivers or lakes became increasingly scarce. Localised groundwater systems are likely to have been widespread within the EARS providing refugia and intense competition during dry periods, thus being an important factor in natural selection and evolution, as well as a vital resource during hominin dispersal within and out of Africa. PMID:25207544

  15. A spring forward for hominin evolution in East Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark O Cuthbert

    Full Text Available Groundwater is essential to modern human survival during drought periods. There is also growing geological evidence of springs associated with stone tools and hominin fossils in the East African Rift System (EARS during a critical period for hominin evolution (from 1.8 Ma. However it is not known how vulnerable these springs may have been to climate variability and whether groundwater availability may have played a part in human evolution. Recent interdisciplinary research at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, has documented climate fluctuations attributable to astronomic forcing and the presence of paleosprings directly associated with archaeological sites. Using palaeogeological reconstruction and groundwater modelling of the Olduvai Gorge paleo-catchment, we show how spring discharge was likely linked to East African climate variability of annual to Milankovitch cycle timescales. Under decadal to centennial timescales, spring flow would have been relatively invariant providing good water resource resilience through long droughts. For multi-millennial periods, modelled spring flows lag groundwater recharge by 100 s to 1000 years. The lag creates long buffer periods allowing hominins to adapt to new habitats as potable surface water from rivers or lakes became increasingly scarce. Localised groundwater systems are likely to have been widespread within the EARS providing refugia and intense competition during dry periods, thus being an important factor in natural selection and evolution, as well as a vital resource during hominin dispersal within and out of Africa.

  16. A spring forward for hominin evolution in East Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, Mark O; Ashley, Gail M

    2014-01-01

    Groundwater is essential to modern human survival during drought periods. There is also growing geological evidence of springs associated with stone tools and hominin fossils in the East African Rift System (EARS) during a critical period for hominin evolution (from 1.8 Ma). However it is not known how vulnerable these springs may have been to climate variability and whether groundwater availability may have played a part in human evolution. Recent interdisciplinary research at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, has documented climate fluctuations attributable to astronomic forcing and the presence of paleosprings directly associated with archaeological sites. Using palaeogeological reconstruction and groundwater modelling of the Olduvai Gorge paleo-catchment, we show how spring discharge was likely linked to East African climate variability of annual to Milankovitch cycle timescales. Under decadal to centennial timescales, spring flow would have been relatively invariant providing good water resource resilience through long droughts. For multi-millennial periods, modelled spring flows lag groundwater recharge by 100 s to 1000 years. The lag creates long buffer periods allowing hominins to adapt to new habitats as potable surface water from rivers or lakes became increasingly scarce. Localised groundwater systems are likely to have been widespread within the EARS providing refugia and intense competition during dry periods, thus being an important factor in natural selection and evolution, as well as a vital resource during hominin dispersal within and out of Africa.

  17. Elucidation of cross-species proteomic effects in human and hominin bone proteome identification through a bioinformatics experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Welker, F.

    2018-01-01

    not been demonstrated. If error-tolerant searches do not overcome the cross-species proteomic issue then there might be inherent biases in the identified proteomes. Here, a bioinformatics experiment is performed to test this using a set of modern human bone proteomes and three independent searches against...... positions in the search against the chimpanzee proteome (≈90%, 6-8 Ma). This provides a bioinformatic background to future phylogenetic and proteomic analysis of ancient hominin proteomes, including the future description of novel hominin amino acid sequences, but also has negative implications...

  18. Palaeoproteomic evidence identifies archaic hominins associated with the Châtelperronian at the Grotte du Renne.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welker, Frido; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Talamo, Sahra; Jaouen, Klervia; Dannemann, Michael; David, Francine; Julien, Michèle; Meyer, Matthias; Kelso, Janet; Barnes, Ian; Brace, Selina; Kamminga, Pepijn; Fischer, Roman; Kessler, Benedikt M; Stewart, John R; Pääbo, Svante; Collins, Matthew J; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2016-10-04

    In Western Europe, the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition is associated with the disappearance of Neandertals and the spread of anatomically modern humans (AMHs). Current chronological, behavioral, and biological models of this transitional period hinge on the Châtelperronian technocomplex. At the site of the Grotte du Renne, Arcy-sur-Cure, morphological Neandertal specimens are not directly dated but are contextually associated with the Châtelperronian, which contains bone points and beads. The association between Neandertals and this "transitional" assemblage has been controversial because of the lack either of a direct hominin radiocarbon date or of molecular confirmation of the Neandertal affiliation. Here we provide further evidence for a Neandertal-Châtelperronian association at the Grotte du Renne through biomolecular and chronological analysis. We identified 28 additional hominin specimens through zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry (ZooMS) screening of morphologically uninformative bone specimens from Châtelperronian layers at the Grotte du Renne. Next, we obtain an ancient hominin bone proteome through liquid chromatography-MS/MS analysis and error-tolerant amino acid sequence analysis. Analysis of this palaeoproteome allows us to provide phylogenetic and physiological information on these ancient hominin specimens. We distinguish Late Pleistocene clades within the genus Homo based on ancient protein evidence through the identification of an archaic-derived amino acid sequence for the collagen type X, alpha-1 (COL10α1) protein. We support this by obtaining ancient mtDNA sequences, which indicate a Neandertal ancestry for these specimens. Direct accelerator mass spectometry radiocarbon dating and Bayesian modeling confirm that the hominin specimens date to the Châtelperronian at the Grotte du Renne.

  19. Pliocene hominin biogeography and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macho, Gabriele A

    2015-10-01

    Australopithecus bahrelghazali, its origin and palaeobiology are not well understood. Reported from only one location some several thousand kilometres away from East African Pliocene hominin sites, it appears to have predominantly fed on C4 sources. Yet, it lacks the morphological adaptations of other primate C4 consumers like Paranthropus boisei and Theropithecus oswaldi. Furthermore, although considered to belong to Australopithecus afarensis by most researchers, A. bahrelghazali appears to differ from the former in a key aspect of its morphology: enamel thickness. To assess the phylogeny and palaeobiology of A. bahrelghazali, I first evaluate the dietary adaptations and energetics of A. bahrelghazali using empirical data of the feeding ecology of extant baboons, Papio cynocephalus. Information published on A. bahrelghazali morphology and habitat preference is used to select C4 foods with the appropriate mechanical properties and availability within the environment to create the models. By altering the feeding time on various food categories, I then test whether A. bahrelghazali could have subsisted on a C4 diet, thus accounting for the δ(13)C composition of its dental tissue. The effects of body mass on the volume of food consumed are taken into account. The outcomes of these simulations indicate that A. bahrelghazali could have subsisted on a diet of predominantly sedges, albeit with limitations. At higher energy requirements, i.e., above 3.5 times the BMR, it would be difficult for a medium-sized primate to obtain sufficient energy from a sedge-based diet. This is apparently due to constraints on foraging/feeding time, not because of the nutritional value of sedges per se. These results are discussed against the backdrop of A. bahrelghazali biogeography, palaeoenvironment, and phylogeny. The combined evidence makes it plausible to suggest that Northern Chad may have been a refugium for migrating mammals, including hominins, and throws new light on the deep

  20. Palaeoproteomic evidence identifies archaic hominins associated with the Châtelperronian at the Grotte du Renne

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Welker, Frido; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Talamo, Sahra

    2016-01-01

    of the lack either of a direct hominin radiocarbon date or of molecular confirmation of the Neandertal affiliation. Here we provide further evidence for a Neandertal-Châtelperronian association at the Grotte du Renne through biomolecular and chronological analysis. We identified 28 additional hominin...... for the collagen type X, alpha-1 (COL10α1) protein. We support this by obtaining ancient mtDNA sequences, which indicate a Neandertal ancestry for these specimens. Direct accelerator mass spectometry radiocarbon dating and Bayesian modeling confirm that the hominin specimens date to the Châtelperronian....... At the site of the Grotte du Renne, Arcy-sur-Cure, morphological Neandertal specimens are not directly dated but are contextually associated with the Châtelperronian, which contains bone points and beads. The association between Neandertals and this "transitional" assemblage has been controversial because...

  1. Grass leaves as potential hominin dietary resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paine, Oliver C C; Koppa, Abigale; Henry, Amanda G; Leichliter, Jennifer N; Codron, Daryl; Codron, Jacqueline; Lambert, Joanna E; Sponheimer, Matt

    2018-04-01

    Discussions about early hominin diets have generally excluded grass leaves as a staple food resource, despite their ubiquity in most early hominin habitats. In particular, stable carbon isotope studies have shown a prevalent C 4 component in the diets of most taxa, and grass leaves are the single most abundant C 4 resource in African savannas. Grass leaves are typically portrayed as having little nutritional value (e.g., low in protein and high in fiber) for hominins lacking specialized digestive systems. It has also been argued that they present mechanical challenges (i.e., high toughness) for hominins with bunodont dentition. Here, we compare the nutritional and mechanical properties of grass leaves with the plants growing alongside them in African savanna habitats. We also compare grass leaves to the leaves consumed by other hominoids and demonstrate that many, though by no means all, compare favorably with the nutritional and mechanical properties of known primate foods. Our data reveal that grass leaves exhibit tremendous variation and suggest that future reconstructions of hominin dietary ecology take a more nuanced approach when considering grass leaves as a potential hominin dietary resource. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Fast, accurate and automatic ancient nucleosome and methylation maps with epiPALEOMIX

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanghøj, Kristian Ebbesen; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Schubert, Mikkel

    2016-01-01

    The first epigenomes from archaic hominins (AH) and ancient anatomically modern humans (AMH) have recently been characterized, based, however, on a limited number of samples. The extent to which ancient genome-wide epigenetic landscapes can be reconstructed thus remains contentious. Here, we...

  3. Ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan

    2004-01-01

    ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair......ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair...

  4. Stable isotope-based diet reconstructions of Turkana Basin hominins

    OpenAIRE

    Cerling, Thure E.; Manthi, Fredrick Kyalo; Mbua, Emma N.; Leakey, Louise N.; Leakey, Meave G.; Leakey, Richard E.; Brown, Francis H.; Grine, Frederick E.; Hart, John A.; Kaleme, Prince; Roche, Hélène; Uno, Kevin T.; Wood, Bernard A.

    2013-01-01

    Hominin fossil evidence in the Turkana Basin in Kenya from ca. 4.1 to 1.4 Ma samples two archaic early hominin genera and records some of the early evolutionary history of Paranthropus and Homo. Stable carbon isotopes in fossil tooth enamel are used to estimate the fraction of diet derived from C3 or C4 resources in these hominin taxa. The earliest hominin species in the Turkana Basin, Australopithecus anamensis, derived nearly all of its diet from C3 resources. Subsequently, by ca. 3.3 Ma, t...

  5. Tool making, hand morphology and fossil hominins

    OpenAIRE

    Marzke, Mary W.

    2013-01-01

    Was stone tool making a factor in the evolution of human hand morphology? Is it possible to find evidence in fossil hominin hands for this capability? These questions are being addressed with increasingly sophisticated studies that are testing two hypotheses; (i) that humans have unique patterns of grip and hand movement capabilities compatible with effective stone tool making and use of the tools and, if this is the case, (ii) that there exist unique patterns of morphology in human hands tha...

  6. Tool making, hand morphology and fossil hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzke, Mary W

    2013-11-19

    Was stone tool making a factor in the evolution of human hand morphology? Is it possible to find evidence in fossil hominin hands for this capability? These questions are being addressed with increasingly sophisticated studies that are testing two hypotheses; (i) that humans have unique patterns of grip and hand movement capabilities compatible with effective stone tool making and use of the tools and, if this is the case, (ii) that there exist unique patterns of morphology in human hands that are consistent with these capabilities. Comparative analyses of human stone tool behaviours and chimpanzee feeding behaviours have revealed a distinctive set of forceful pinch grips by humans that are effective in the control of stones by one hand during manufacture and use of the tools. Comparative dissections, kinematic analyses and biomechanical studies indicate that humans do have a unique pattern of muscle architecture and joint surface form and functions consistent with the derived capabilities. A major remaining challenge is to identify skeletal features that reflect the full morphological pattern, and therefore may serve as clues to fossil hominin manipulative capabilities. Hominin fossils are evaluated for evidence of patterns of derived human grip and stress-accommodation features.

  7. Leaf wax biomarker reconstruction of Early Pleistocene hydrological variation during hominin evolution in West Turkana, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupien, R.; Russell, J. M.; Cohen, A. S.; Feibel, C. S.; Beck, C.; Castañeda, I. S.

    2016-12-01

    Climate change is thought to play a critical role in human evolution; however, this hypothesis is difficult to test due to a lack of long, high-quality paleoclimate records from key hominin fossil locales. To address this issue, we examine Plio-Pleistocene lake sediment drill cores from East Africa that were recovered by the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project, an international effort to study the environment in which our hominin ancestors evolved and dispersed. With new data we test various evolutionary hypotheses, such as the "variability selection" hypothesis, which posits that high-frequency environmental variations selected for generalist traits that allowed hominins to expand into variable environments. We analyzed organic geochemical signals of climate in lake cores from West Turkana, Kenya, which span 1.87-1.38 Ma and contain the first fossils from Homo erectus. In particular, we present a compound-specific hydrogen isotopic analysis of terrestrial plant waxes (δDwax) that records regional hydrology. The amount effect dominates water isotope fractionation in the tropics; therefore, these data are interpreted to reflect mean annual rainfall, which affects vegetation structure and thus, hominin habitats. The canonical view of East Africa is that climate became drier and increasingly felt high-latitude glacial-interglacial cycles during the Plio-Pleistocene. However, the drying trend seen in some records is not evident in Turkana δDwax, signifying instead a climate with a steady mean state. Spectral and moving variance analyses indicate paleohydrological variations related to both high-latitude glaciation (41 ky cycle) and local insolation-forced monsoons (21 ky cycle). An interval of particularly high-amplitude rainfall variation occurs at 1.7 Ma, which coincides with the intensification of the Walker Circulation. These results identify high- and low-latitude controls on East African paleohydrology during Homo erectus evolution. In particular, the

  8. Ancient Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evers, Virginia

    This four-week fourth grade social studies unit dealing with religious dimensions in ancient Egyptian culture was developed by the Public Education Religion Studies Center at Wright State University. It seeks to help students understand ancient Egypt by looking at the people, the culture, and the people's world view. The unit begins with outlines…

  9. Ancient mitogenomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ho, Simon Y. W.; Gilbert, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The mitochondrial genome has been the traditional focus of most research into ancient DNA, owing to its high copy number and population-level variability. Despite this long-standing interest in mitochondrial DNA, it was only in 2001 that the first complete ancient mitogenomic sequences were obtai...

  10. The Application of Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) in Ancient Dental Calculus for the Reconstruction of Human Habits

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fialová, D.; Skoupý, Radim; Drozdová, E.; Paták, Aleš; Piňos, Jakub; Šín, L.; Beňuš, R.; Klíma, B.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 6 (2017), s. 1207-1213 ISSN 1431-9276 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1212; GA MŠk ED0017/01/01 Institutional support: RVO:68081731 Keywords : ancient dental calculus * SEM-EDX * human habits * the Great Moravian Empire * Napoleonic Wars Subject RIV: JA - Electronics ; Optoelectronics, Electrical Engineering OBOR OECD: Electrical and electronic engineering Impact factor: 1.891, year: 2016

  11. Estimating surface area in early hominins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Cross

    Full Text Available Height and weight-based methods of estimating surface area have played an important role in the development of the current consensus regarding the role of thermoregulation in human evolution. However, such methods may not be reliable when applied to early hominins because their limb proportions differ markedly from those of humans. Here, we report a study in which this possibility was evaluated by comparing surface area estimates generated with the best-known height and weight-based method to estimates generated with a method that is sensitive to proportional differences. We found that the two methods yield indistinguishable estimates when applied to taxa whose limb proportions are similar to those of humans, but significantly different results when applied to taxa whose proportions differ from those of humans. We also found that the discrepancy between the estimates generated by the two methods is almost entirely attributable to inter-taxa differences in limb proportions. One corollary of these findings is that we need to reassess hypotheses about the role of thermoregulation in human evolution that have been developed with the aid of height and weight-based methods of estimating body surface area. Another is that we need to use other methods in future work on fossil hominin body surface areas.

  12. Archeological insights into hominin cognitive evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L

    2016-07-01

    How did the human mind evolve? How and when did we come to think in the ways we do? The last thirty years have seen an explosion in research related to the brain and cognition. This research has encompassed a range of biological and social sciences, from epigenetics and cognitive neuroscience to social and developmental psychology. Following naturally on this efflorescence has been a heightened interest in the evolution of the brain and cognition. Evolutionary scholars, including paleoanthropologists, have deployed the standard array of evolutionary methods. Ethological and experimental evidence has added significantly to our understanding of nonhuman brains and cognition, especially those of nonhuman primates. Studies of fossil brains through endocasts and sophisticated imaging techniques have revealed evolutionary changes in gross neural anatomy. Psychologists have also gotten into the game through application of reverse engineering to experimentally based descriptions of cognitive functions. For hominin evolution, there is another rich source of evidence of cognition, the archeological record. Using the methods of Paleolithic archeology and the theories and models of cognitive science, evolutionary cognitive archeology documents developments in the hominin mind that would otherwise be inaccessible. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Cross-comparison of the genome sequences from human, chimpanzee, Neanderthal and a Denisovan hominin identifies novel potentially compensated mutations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Guojie

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The recent publication of the draft genome sequences of the Neanderthal and a ~50,000-year-old archaic hominin from Denisova Cave in southern Siberia has ushered in a new age in molecular archaeology. We previously cross-compared the human, chimpanzee and Neanderthal genome sequences with respect to a set of disease-causing/disease-associated missense and regulatory mutations (Human Gene Mutation Database and succeeded in identifying genetic variants which, although apparently pathogenic in humans, may represent a 'compensated' wild-type state in at least one of the other two species. Here, in an attempt to identify further 'potentially compensated mutations' (PCMs of interest, we have compared our dataset of disease-causing/disease-associated mutations with their corresponding nucleotide positions in the Denisovan hominin, Neanderthal and chimpanzee genomes. Of the 15 human putatively disease-causing mutations that were found to be compensated in chimpanzee, Denisovan or Neanderthal, only a solitary F5 variant (Val1736Met was specific to the Denisovan. In humans, this missense mutation is associated with activated protein C resistance and an increased risk of thromboembolism and recurrent miscarriage. It is unclear at this juncture whether this variant was indeed a PCM in the Denisovan or whether it could instead have been associated with disease in this ancient hominin.

  14. New hominin fossils from Kanapoi, Kenya, and the mosaic evolution of canine teeth in early hominins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Michael Plavcan

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Whilst reduced size, altered shape and diminished sexual dimorphism of the canine–premolar complex are diagnostic features of the hominin clade, little is known about the rate and timing of changes in canine size and shape in early hominins. The earliest Australopithecus, Australopithecus anamensis, had canine crowns similar in size to those of its descendant Australopithecus afarensis, but a single large root alveolus has suggested that this species may have had larger and more dimorphic canines than previously recognised. Here we present three new associated dentitions attributed to A. anamensis, recently recovered from the type site of Kanapoi, Kenya, that provide evidence of canine evolution in early Australopithecus. These fossils include the largest mandibular canine root in the hominin fossil record. We demonstrate that, although canine crown height did not differ between these species, A. anamensis had larger and more dimorphic roots, more like those of extant great apes and Ardipithecus ramidus, than those of A. afarensis. The canine and premolar occlusal shapes of A. anamensis also resemble those of Ar. ramidus, and are intermediary between extant great apes and A. afarensis. A. afarensis achieved Homo-like maxillary crown basal proportions without a reduction in crown height. Thus, canine crown size and dimorphism remained stable during the early evolution of Australopithecus, but mandibular root dimensions changed only later within the A. anamensis–afarensis lineage, coincident with morphological changes in the canine–premolar complex. These observations suggest that selection on canine tooth crown height, shape and root dimensions was not coupled in early hominin evolution, and was not part of an integrated adaptive package.

  15. Archaeogenomic insights into the adaptation of plants to the human environment: pushing plant-hominin co-evolution back to the Pliocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allaby, Robin G; Kistler, Logan; Gutaker, Rafal M; Ware, Roselyn; Kitchen, James L; Smith, Oliver; Clarke, Andrew C

    2015-02-01

    The colonization of the human environment by plants, and the consequent evolution of domesticated forms is increasingly being viewed as a co-evolutionary plant-human process that occurred over a long time period, with evidence for the co-evolutionary relationship between plants and humans reaching ever deeper into the hominin past. This developing view is characterized by a change in emphasis on the drivers of evolution in the case of plants. Rather than individual species being passive recipients of artificial selection pressures and ultimately becoming domesticates, entire plant communities adapted to the human environment. This evolutionary scenario leads to systems level genetic expectations from models that can be explored through ancient DNA and Next Generation Sequencing approaches. Emerging evidence suggests that domesticated genomes fit well with these expectations, with periods of stable complex evolution characterized by large amounts of change associated with relatively small selective value, punctuated by periods in which changes in one-half of the plant-hominin relationship cause rapid, low-complexity adaptation in the other. A corollary of a single plant-hominin co-evolutionary process is that clues about the initiation of the domestication process may well lie deep within the hominin lineage. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Energetic cost of walking in fossil hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal-Cordasco, M; Mateos, A; Zorrilla-Revilla, G; Prado-Nóvoa, O; Rodríguez, J

    2017-11-01

    Many biomechanical studies consistently show that a broader pelvis increases the reaction forces and bending moments across the femoral shaft, increasing the energetic costs of unloaded locomotion. However, a biomechanical model does not provide the real amount of metabolic energy expended in walking. The aim of this study is to test the influence of pelvis breadth on locomotion cost and to evaluate the locomotion efficiency of extinct Pleistocene hominins. The current study measures in vivo the influence of pelvis width on the caloric cost of locomotion, integrating anthropometry, body composition and indirect calorimetry protocols in a sample of 46 subjects of both sexes. We show that a broader false pelvis is substantially more efficient for locomotion than a narrower one and that the influence of false pelvis width on the energetic cost is similar to the influence of leg length. Two models integrating body mass, femur length and bi-iliac breadth are used to estimate the net and gross energetic costs of locomotion in a number of extinct hominins. The results presented here show that the locomotion of Homo was not energetically more efficient than that of Australopithecus and that the locomotion of extinct Homo species was not less efficient than that of modern Homo sapiens. The changes in the anatomy of the pelvis and lower limb observed with the appearance of Homo ergaster probably did not fully offset the increased expenditure resulting from a larger body mass. Moreover, the narrow pelvis in modern humans does not contribute to greater efficiency of locomotion. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis of ancient coins: The case of Greek silver drachmae from the Emporion site in Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pitarch, A.; Queralt, I.

    2010-01-01

    Greek colonizers arrived at the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning of the sixth century B.C. and founded a small colony known as Emporion in north-east Spain. By the fifth century B.C., this colony became a small polis with a well-organized administrative structure. In this context, the necessity of coinage was a fact and the first coins were minted. Some of these coins were characterized by using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence equipment. The analytical study focused on the elemental characterization of the coins minted from the fourth century to the first century B.C. and their compositional evolution during this period. The investigation has pointed out a very high fineness of the alloys throughout the time, with an average silver content around 98.32%, and the feasibility of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence as a screening tool for the characterization of the alloys.

  18. Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis of ancient coins: The case of Greek silver drachmae from the Emporion site in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitarch, A.; Queralt, I.

    2010-05-01

    Greek colonizers arrived at the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning of the sixth century B.C. and founded a small colony known as Emporion in north-east Spain. By the fifth century B.C., this colony became a small polis with a well-organized administrative structure. In this context, the necessity of coinage was a fact and the first coins were minted [1]. Some of these coins were characterized by using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence equipment. The analytical study focused on the elemental characterization of the coins minted from the fourth century to the first century B.C. and their compositional evolution during this period. The investigation has pointed out a very high fineness of the alloys throughout the time, with an average silver content around 98.32%, and the feasibility of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence as a screening tool for the characterization of the alloys.

  19. Ancient genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed a revolution in ancient DNA (aDNA) research. Although the field's focus was previously limited to mitochondrial DNA and a few nuclear markers, whole genome sequences from the deep past can now be retrieved. This breakthrough is tightly connected to the massive sequen...

  20. Early hominin speciation at the Plio/Pleistocene transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, D W

    2003-01-01

    Over the last half-decade or so, there has been an explosion in the recognition of hominin genera and species. We now have the late Miocene genera Orrorin and Sahelanthropus, the mid Pliocene genus Kenyanthropus, three new Pliocene species of Australopithecus (A. anamensis, A. garhi and A. bahrelghazali) and a sub species of Ardipithecus (Ar. r. kadabba) to contend with. Excepting also the more traditional species allocated to Paranthropus, Australopithecus and early Homo we are approaching around 15 species over 5 million years (excluding hominin evolution over the last one million years). Can such a large number of hominin species be justified? An examination of extant hominid (Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, and Pan paniscus) anatomical variability indicates that the range of fossil hominin variability supports the recognition of this large number of fossil species. It is also shown that not all hominins are directly related to the emergence of early Homo and as such have become extinct. Indeed the traditional australopithecine species 'A'. anamensis, 'A'. afarensis and 'A'. garhi are considered here to belong to a distinct genus Praeanthropus. They are also argued not be hominins, but rather an as yet undefined hominid group from which the more derived hominins evolved. The first hominin is represented by A. africanus or a hominin very much like it. The Paranthropus clade is defined by a derived heterochronic condition of peramorphosis, associated with sequential progenesis (contraction of successive growth stages) in brain and dental development, but a mixture of peramorphic and paedomorphic features in its craniofacial anatomy. Conversely, Kenyanthropus and Homo both share a pattern of peramorphosis, associated with sequential hypermorphosis (prolongation of successive growth stages) in brain development, and paedomorphosis processes in cranial, facial and dental development. This suggests, that these two clades share an important synapomorphy not

  1. A synthesis of Plio-Pleistocene leaf wax biomarker records of hydrological variation in East Africa and their relationship with hominin evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupien, R.; Russell, J. M.; Campisano, C. J.; Feibel, C. S.; Deino, A. L.; Kingston, J.; Potts, R.; Cohen, A. S.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change is thought to play a critical role in human evolution. However, the mechanisms behind this relationship are difficult to test due to a lack of long, high-quality paleoclimate records from hominin fossil locales. We improve the understanding of this relationship by examining Plio-Pleistocene lake sediment cores from East Africa that were drilled by the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project, an international effort to study the environment in which our hominin ancestors evolved and dispersed. We have analyzed organic geochemical signals of climate from drill cores from Ethiopia and Kenya spanning the Pliocene to recent time (from north to south: paleolake Hadar, Lake Turkana, Lake Baringo, and paleolake Koora). Specifically, we analyzed the hydrogen isotopic composition of terrestrial leaf waxes, which records changes in regional atmospheric circulation and hydrology. We reconstructed quantitative records of rainfall amount at each of the study sites, which host sediment spanning different geologic times and regions. By compiling these records, we test hominin evolutionary hypotheses as well as crucial questions about climate trend and variability. We find that there is a gradual or step-wise enrichment in δDwax, signifying a trend from a wet to dry climate, from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene, perhaps implying an influence of global temperature, ice sheet extent, and/or atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations on East African climate. However, the shift is small relative to the amplitude of orbital-scale isotopic variations. The records indicate a strong influence of eccentricity-modulated orbital precession, and imply that local insolation effects are the likely cause of East African precipitation. Several of the intervals of high isotopic variability coincide with key hominin fossil or technological transitions, suggesting that climate variability plays a key role in hominin evolution.

  2. About Ganoderma boninense in oil palm plantations of Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia: Ancient population expansion, extensive gene flow and large scale dispersion ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercière, Maxime; Boulord, Romain; Carasco-Lacombe, Catherine; Klopp, Christophe; Lee, Yang-Ping; Tan, Joon-Sheong; Syed Alwee, Sharifah S R; Zaremski, Alba; De Franqueville, Hubert; Breton, Frédéric; Camus-Kulandaivelu, Létizia

    Wood rot fungi form one of the main classes of phytopathogenic fungus. The group includes many species, but has remained poorly studied. Many species belonging to the Ganoderma genus are well known for causing decay in a wide range of tree species around the world. Ganoderma boninense, causal agent of oil palm basal stem rot, is responsible for considerable yield losses in Southeast Asian oil palm plantations. In a large-scale sampling operation, 357 sporophores were collected from oil palm plantations spread over peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra and genotyped using 11 SSR markers. The genotyping of these samples made it possible to investigate the population structure and demographic history of G. boninense across the oldest known area of interaction between oil palm and G. boninense. Results show that G. boninense possesses a high degree of genetic diversity and no detectable genetic structure at the scale of Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia. The fact that few duplicate genotypes were found in several studies including this one supports the hypothesis of spore dispersal in the spread of G. boninense. Meanwhile, spatial autocorrelation analysis shows that G. boninense is able to disperse across both short and long distances. These results bring new insight into mechanisms by which G. boninense spreads in oil palm plantations. Finally, the use of approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) modelling indicates that G. boninense has undergone a demographic expansion in the past, probably before the oil palm was introduced into Southeast Asia. Copyright © 2017 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Stable isotope-based diet reconstructions of Turkana Basin hominins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerling, Thure E.; Kyalo Manthi, Fredrick; Mbua, Emma N.; Leakey, Louise N.; Leakey, Meave G.; Leakey, Richard E.; Brown, Francis H.; Grine, Frederick E.; Hart, John A.; Kaleme, Prince; Roche, Hélène; Uno, Kevin T.; Wood, Bernard A.

    2013-06-01

    Hominin fossil evidence in the Turkana Basin in Kenya from ca. 4.1 to 1.4 Ma samples two archaic early hominin genera and records some of the early evolutionary history of Paranthropus and Homo. Stable carbon isotopes in fossil tooth enamel are used to estimate the fraction of diet derived from C3 or C4 resources in these hominin taxa. The earliest hominin species in the Turkana Basin, Australopithecus anamensis, derived nearly all of its diet from C3 resources. Subsequently, by ca. 3.3 Ma, the later Kenyanthropus platyops had a very wide dietary range-from virtually a purely C3 resource-based diet to one dominated by C4 resources. By ca. 2 Ma, hominins in the Turkana Basin had split into two distinct groups: specimens attributable to the genus Homo provide evidence for a diet with a ca. 65/35 ratio of C3- to C4-based resources, whereas P. boisei had a higher fraction of C4-based diet (ca. 25/75 ratio). Homo sp. increased the fraction of C4-based resources in the diet through ca. 1.5 Ma, whereas P. boisei maintained its high dependency on C4-derived resources.

  4. Ancient DNA from hunter-gatherer and farmer groups from Northern Spain supports a random dispersion model for the Neolithic expansion into Europe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Montserrat Hervella

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The phenomenon of Neolithisation refers to the transition of prehistoric populations from a hunter-gatherer to an agro-pastoralist lifestyle. Traditionally, the spread of an agro-pastoralist economy into Europe has been framed within a dichotomy based either on an acculturation phenomenon or on a demic diffusion. However, the nature and speed of this transition is a matter of continuing scientific debate in archaeology, anthropology, and human population genetics. In the present study, we have analyzed the mitochondrial DNA diversity in hunter-gatherers and first farmers from Northern Spain, in relation to the debate surrounding the phenomenon of Neolithisation in Europe. METHODOLOGY/SIGNIFICANCE: Analysis of mitochondrial DNA was carried out on 54 individuals from Upper Paleolithic and Early Neolithic, which were recovered from nine archaeological sites from Northern Spain (Basque Country, Navarre and Cantabria. In addition, to take all necessary precautions to avoid contamination, different authentication criteria were applied in this study, including: DNA quantification, cloning, duplication (51% of the samples and replication of the results (43% of the samples by two independent laboratories. Statistical and multivariate analyses of the mitochondrial variability suggest that the genetic influence of Neolithisation did not spread uniformly throughout Europe, producing heterogeneous genetic consequences in different geographical regions, rejecting the traditional models that explain the Neolithisation in Europe. CONCLUSION: The differences detected in the mitochondrial DNA lineages of Neolithic groups studied so far (including these ones of this study suggest different genetic impact of Neolithic in Central Europe, Mediterranean Europe and the Cantabrian fringe. The genetic data obtained in this study provide support for a random dispersion model for Neolithic farmers. This random dispersion had a different

  5. The prehistory of the Arabian peninsula: deserts, dispersals, and demography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groucutt, Huw S; Petraglia, Michael D

    2012-05-01

    As a geographic connection between Africa and the rest of Eurasia, the Arabian Peninsula occupies a central position in elucidating hominin evolution and dispersals. Arabia has been characterized by extreme environmental fluctuation in the Quaternary, with profound evolutionary and demographic consequences. Despite the importance of the region, Arabia remains understudied. Recent years, however, have seen major developments in environmental studies and archeology, revealing that the region contains important records that should play a significant role in future paleoanthropological narratives.(1-3) The emerging picture of Arabia suggests that numerous dispersals of hominin populations into the region occurred. Populations subsequently followed autochthonous trajectories, creating a distinctive regional archeological record. Debates continue on the respective roles of regional hominin extinctions and population continuity, with the latter suggesting adaptation to arid conditions. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Ancient Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swamy, Ashwin Balegar

    This thesis involves development of an interactive GIS (Geographic Information System) based application, which gives information about the ancient history of Egypt. The astonishing architecture, the strange burial rituals and their civilization were some of the intriguing questions that motivated me towards developing this application. The application is a historical timeline starting from 3100 BC, leading up to 664 BC, focusing on the evolution of the Egyptian dynasties. The tool holds information regarding some of the famous monuments which were constructed during that era and also about the civilizations that co-existed. It also provides details about the religions followed by their kings. It also includes the languages spoken during those periods. The tool is developed using JAVA, a programing language and MOJO (Map Objects Java Objects) a product of ESRI (Environmental Science Research Institute) to create map objects, to provide geographic information. JAVA Swing is used for designing the user interface. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) pages are created to provide the user with more information related to the historic period. CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) and JAVA Scripts are used with HTML5 to achieve creative display of content. The tool is kept simple and easy for the user to interact with. The tool also includes pictures and videos for the user to get a feel of the historic period. The application is built to motivate people to know more about one of the prominent and ancient civilization of the Mediterranean world.

  7. Ancient Bedforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    18 August 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows groupings of large ripple-like windblown bedforms on the floor of a large crater (larger than the image shown here) in Sinus Sabaeus, south of Schiaparelli Basin. These ripple-like features are much larger than typical wind ripples on Earth, but smaller than typical sand dunes on either planet. Like most of the other ripple-like bedforms in Sinus Sabaeus, they are probably ancient and no longer mobile. Dark streaks on the substrate between the bedforms were formed by passing dust devils. This image is located near 13.0oS, 343.7oW. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across and sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

  8. Analysis of ancient masterly pieces of work by means of X-ray fluorescence analysis by dispersion in the energy; Analisis de obras de arte antiguas mediante fluorescencia de rayos X por dispersion en la energia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cesareo, R.; Cappio B, C.; Brunetti, A. [Istituto di Matematica e Fisica, Universita di Sassari (Italy); Rosales, M.A. [INAOE, Tonantzintla, Puebla (Mexico); Castellano, A. [Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Universita di Lecce (Italy); Gigante, G.E. [Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita La Sapienza, Roma (Italy); Fiorini, C. [Dip. di Elettronica ed Informazione, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

    2004-07-01

    Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis has been widely used for the analysis of works of art because it is non-destructive, multi-elemental, simple to utilize, and relatively inexpensive. In the last few years, miniaturized and portable X-ray tubes and high-resolution semiconductor detectors have been developed. This progress allowed the design and construction of portable equipments that can be easily transported all over the world, for use in museums, excavations, etc. In this work, these portable systems will be described and their usefulness demonstrated in the analysis of objects of archaeological value. First, we present the analysis of a lot of gold prehispanic jewels from the Museo del Templo Mayor in Mexico City; in the second place we present the results of analysis of the golden altar of St. Ambrogio in Milan, which is considered one of the most important goldsmith's works ever realized and the gold pigments from the fresco 'The chapel of the Scrovegni' by Giotto. In the third place we give a brief account of Mycenaean and pre-Mycenaean gold objects from the Museum Benaki in Athens. Finally, the results of bulk nuragic copper based ingots from the nuragic village of St. Imbenia are presented. (Author) 19 refs., 5 tabs., 8 figs.

  9. Late Middle Pleistocene hominin teeth from Panxian Dadong, South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wu; Schepartz, Lynne A; Xing, Song; Miller-Antonio, Sari; Wu, Xiujie; Trinkaus, Erik; Martinón-Torres, María

    2013-05-01

    The hominin teeth and evidence of hominin activities recovered from 1991 to 2005 at the Panxian Dadong site in South China are dated to the late Middle Pleistocene (MIS 8-6 or ca. 130-300 ka), a period for which very little is known about the morphology of Asian populations. The present study provides the first detailed morphometric description and comparisons of four hominin teeth (I(1), C1, P(3) and P3) from this site. Our study shows that the Panxian Dadong teeth combine archaic and derived features that align them with Middle and Upper Pleistocene fossils from East and West Asia and Europe. These teeth do not display any typical Neanderthal features and they are generally more derived than other contemporaneous populations from Asia and Africa. However, the derived traits are not diagnostic enough to specifically link the Panxian Dadong teeth to Homo sapiens, a common problem when analyzing the Middle Pleistocene dental record from Africa and Asia. These findings are contextualized in the discussion of the evolutionary course of Asian Middle Pleistocene hominins, and they highlight the necessity of incorporating the Asian fossil record in the still open debate about the origin of H. sapiens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. New Middle Pleistocene hominin cranium from Gruta da Aroeira (Portugal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daura, Joan; Sanz, Montserrat; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Hoffmann, Dirk L; Quam, Rolf M; Ortega, María Cruz; Santos, Elena; Gómez, Sandra; Rubio, Angel; Villaescusa, Lucía; Souto, Pedro; Mauricio, João; Rodrigues, Filipa; Ferreira, Artur; Godinho, Paulo; Trinkaus, Erik; Zilhão, João

    2017-03-28

    The Middle Pleistocene is a crucial time period for studying human evolution in Europe, because it marks the appearance of both fossil hominins ancestral to the later Neandertals and the Acheulean technology. Nevertheless, European sites containing well-dated human remains associated with an Acheulean toolkit remain scarce. The earliest European hominin crania associated with Acheulean handaxes are at the sites of Arago, Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos (SH), and Swanscombe, dating to 400-500 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 11-12). The Atapuerca (SH) fossils and the Swanscombe cranium belong to the Neandertal clade, whereas the Arago hominins have been attributed to an incipient stage of Neandertal evolution, to Homo heidelbergensis , or to a subspecies of Homo erectus A recently discovered cranium (Aroeira 3) from the Gruta da Aroeira (Almonda karst system, Portugal) dating to 390-436 ka provides important evidence on the earliest European Acheulean-bearing hominins. This cranium is represented by most of the right half of a calvarium (with the exception of the missing occipital bone) and a fragmentary right maxilla preserving part of the nasal floor and two fragmentary molars. The combination of traits in the Aroeira 3 cranium augments the previously documented diversity in the European Middle Pleistocene fossil record.

  11. Early hominins in Europe: The Galerian migration hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muttoni, Giovanni; Scardia, Giancarlo; Kent, Dennis V.

    2018-01-01

    Our updated review of sites bearing hominin remains and/or tools from Europe, including new findings from the Balkans, still indicates that the only compelling evidence of main hominin presence in these regions was only since ∼0.9 million years ago (Ma), bracketed by the end of the Jaramillo geomagnetic polarity subchron (0.99 Ma) and the Brunhes-Matuyama polarity chron boundary (0.78 Ma). This time window straddled the late Early Pleistocene climate transition (EPT) at the onset of enhanced glacial/interglacial activity that reverberated worldwide. Europe may have become initially populated during the EPT when, possibly for the first time in the Pleistocene, vast and exploitable ecosystems were generated along the eustatically emergent Po-Danube terrestrial conduit. These newly formed settings, characterized by stable terrestrial lowlands with open grasslands and reduced woody cover especially during glacial/interglacial transitions, are regarded as optimal ecosystems for several large Galerian immigrant mammals such as African and Asian megaherbivores, possibly linked with hominins in a common food web, to expand into en route to Europe. The question of when hominins first arrived in Europe thus places the issue in the context of changes in climate, paleogeography and faunal associations as potential environmental drivers and controlling agents in a specific time frame, a key feature of the Galerian migration hypothesis.

  12. Middle Pleistocene hominin teeth from Longtan Cave, Hexian, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Song Xing

    Full Text Available Excavations at the Longtan Cave, Hexian, Anhui Province of Eastern China, have yielded several hominin fossils including crania, mandibular fragments, and teeth currently dated to 412 ± 25 ka. While previous studies have focused on the cranial remains, there are no detailed analyses of the dental evidence. In this study, we provide metric and morphological descriptions and comparisons of ten teeth recovered from Hexian, including microcomputed tomography analyses. Our results indicate that the Hexian teeth are metrically and morphologically primitive and overlap with H. ergaster and East Asian Early and mid-Middle Pleistocene hominins in their large dimensions and occlusal complexities. However, the Hexian teeth differ from H. ergaster in features such as conspicuous vertical grooves on the labial/buccal surfaces of the central incisor and the upper premolar, the crown outline shapes of upper and lower molars and the numbers, shapes, and divergences of the roots. Despite their close geological ages, the Hexian teeth are also more primitive than Zhoukoudian specimens, and resemble Sangiran Early Pleistocene teeth. In addition, no typical Neanderthal features have been identified in the Hexian sample. Our study highlights the metrical and morphological primitive status of the Hexian sample in comparison to contemporaneous or even earlier populations of Asia. Based on this finding, we suggest that the primitive-derived gradients of the Asian hominins cannot be satisfactorily fitted along a chronological sequence, suggesting complex evolutionary scenarios with the coexistence and/or survival of different lineages in Eurasia. Hexian could represent the persistence in time of a H. erectus group that would have retained primitive features that were lost in other Asian populations such as Zhoukoudian or Panxian Dadong. Our study expands the metrical and morphological variations known for the East Asian hominins before the mid-Middle Pleistocene and

  13. Middle Pleistocene Hominin Teeth from Longtan Cave, Hexian, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Song; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Zhang, Yingqi; Fan, Xiaoxiao; Zheng, Longting; Huang, Wanbo; Liu, Wu

    2014-01-01

    Excavations at the Longtan Cave, Hexian, Anhui Province of Eastern China, have yielded several hominin fossils including crania, mandibular fragments, and teeth currently dated to 412±25 ka. While previous studies have focused on the cranial remains, there are no detailed analyses of the dental evidence. In this study, we provide metric and morphological descriptions and comparisons of ten teeth recovered from Hexian, including microcomputed tomography analyses. Our results indicate that the Hexian teeth are metrically and morphologically primitive and overlap with H. ergaster and East Asian Early and mid-Middle Pleistocene hominins in their large dimensions and occlusal complexities. However, the Hexian teeth differ from H. ergaster in features such as conspicuous vertical grooves on the labial/buccal surfaces of the central incisor and the upper premolar, the crown outline shapes of upper and lower molars and the numbers, shapes, and divergences of the roots. Despite their close geological ages, the Hexian teeth are also more primitive than Zhoukoudian specimens, and resemble Sangiran Early Pleistocene teeth. In addition, no typical Neanderthal features have been identified in the Hexian sample. Our study highlights the metrical and morphological primitive status of the Hexian sample in comparison to contemporaneous or even earlier populations of Asia. Based on this finding, we suggest that the primitive-derived gradients of the Asian hominins cannot be satisfactorily fitted along a chronological sequence, suggesting complex evolutionary scenarios with the coexistence and/or survival of different lineages in Eurasia. Hexian could represent the persistence in time of a H. erectus group that would have retained primitive features that were lost in other Asian populations such as Zhoukoudian or Panxian Dadong. Our study expands the metrical and morphological variations known for the East Asian hominins before the mid-Middle Pleistocene and warns about the

  14. Comparative context of Plio-Pleistocene hominin brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elton, S; Bishop, L C; Wood, B

    2001-07-01

    One of the distinguishing features of Homo sapiens is its absolutely and relatively large brain. This feature is also seen in less extreme form in some fossil Homo species. However, are increases in brain size during the Plio-Pleistocene only seen in Homo, and is brain enlargement among Plio-Pleistocene primates confined to hominins? This study examines evidence for changes in brain size for species and lineage samples of three synchronic East African fossil primate groups, the two hominin genera Homo and Paranthropus, and the cercopithecoid genus Theropithecus. Hominin endocranial capacity data were taken from the literature, but it was necessary to develop an indirect method for estimating the endocranial volume of Theropithecus. Bivariate and multivariate regression equations relating measured endocranial volume to three external cranial dimensions were developed from a large (ca. 340) sample of modern African cercopithecoids. These equations were used to estimate the endocranial volumes of 20 Theropithecus specimens from the African Plio-Pleistocene. Spearman's rho and the Hubert nonparametric test were used to search for evidence of temporal trends in both the hominin and Theropithecus data. Endocranial volume apparently increased over time in both Homo and Paranthropus boisei, but there was no evidence for temporal trends in the endocranial volume of Theropithecus. Thus, hypotheses which suggest a mix of environmental, social, dietary, or other factors as catalysts for increasing brain in Plio-Pleistocene primates must accommodate evidence of brain enlargement in both Homo and Paranthropus, and explain why this phenomenon appears to be restricted to hominins. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  15. Early human speciation, brain expansion and dispersal influenced by African climate pulses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Shultz

    Full Text Available Early human evolution is characterised by pulsed speciation and dispersal events that cannot be explained fully by global or continental paleoclimate records. We propose that the collated record of ephemeral East African Rift System (EARS lakes could be a proxy for the regional paleoclimate conditions experienced by early hominins. Here we show that the presence of these lakes is associated with low levels of dust deposition in both West African and Mediterranean records, but is not associated with long-term global cooling and aridification of East Africa. Hominin expansion and diversification seem to be associated with climate pulses characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of deep EARS lakes. The most profound period for hominin evolution occurs at about 1.9 Ma; with the highest recorded diversity of hominin species, the appearance of Homo (sensu stricto and major dispersal events out of East Africa into Eurasia. During this period, ephemeral deep-freshwater lakes appeared along the whole length of the EARS, fundamentally changing the local environment. The relationship between the local environment and hominin brain expansion is less clear. The major step-wise expansion in brain size around 1.9 Ma when Homo appeared was coeval with the occurrence of ephemeral deep lakes. Subsequent incremental increases in brain size are associated with dry periods with few if any lakes. Plio-Pleistocene East African climate pulses as evinced by the paleo-lake records seem, therefore, fundamental to hominin speciation, encephalisation and migration.

  16. Early human speciation, brain expansion and dispersal influenced by African climate pulses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shultz, Susanne; Maslin, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Early human evolution is characterised by pulsed speciation and dispersal events that cannot be explained fully by global or continental paleoclimate records. We propose that the collated record of ephemeral East African Rift System (EARS) lakes could be a proxy for the regional paleoclimate conditions experienced by early hominins. Here we show that the presence of these lakes is associated with low levels of dust deposition in both West African and Mediterranean records, but is not associated with long-term global cooling and aridification of East Africa. Hominin expansion and diversification seem to be associated with climate pulses characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of deep EARS lakes. The most profound period for hominin evolution occurs at about 1.9 Ma; with the highest recorded diversity of hominin species, the appearance of Homo (sensu stricto) and major dispersal events out of East Africa into Eurasia. During this period, ephemeral deep-freshwater lakes appeared along the whole length of the EARS, fundamentally changing the local environment. The relationship between the local environment and hominin brain expansion is less clear. The major step-wise expansion in brain size around 1.9 Ma when Homo appeared was coeval with the occurrence of ephemeral deep lakes. Subsequent incremental increases in brain size are associated with dry periods with few if any lakes. Plio-Pleistocene East African climate pulses as evinced by the paleo-lake records seem, therefore, fundamental to hominin speciation, encephalisation and migration.

  17. Forty years on and still going strong : the use of hominin-cercopithecid comparisons in palaeoanthropology.

    OpenAIRE

    Elton, S.

    2006-01-01

    Hominin-cercopithecid comparisons have been used in palaeoanthropology for over forty years. Fossil cercopithecids can be used as a ‘control group’ to contextualize the adaptations and evolutionary trends of hominins. Observations made on modern cercopithecids can also be applied to questions about human evolution. This article reviews the history of hominin-cercopithecid comparisons, assesses the strengths and weaknesses of cercopithecids as comparators in studies of human evolution, and use...

  18. Earliest hominin cancer: 1.7-million-year-old osteosarcoma from Swartkrans Cave, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J. Odes

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The reported incidence of neoplasia in the extinct human lineage is rare, with only a few confirmed cases of Middle or Later Pleistocene dates reported. It has generally been assumed that pre-modern incidence of neoplastic disease of any kind is rare and limited to benign conditions, but new fossil evidence suggests otherwise. We here present the earliest identifiable case of malignant neoplastic disease from an early human ancestor dated to 1.8-1.6 million years old. The diagnosis has been made possible only by advances in 3D imaging methods as diagnostic aids. We present a case report based on re-analysis of a hominin metatarsal specimen (SK 7923 from the cave site of Swartkrans in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. The expression of malignant osteosarcoma in the Swartkrans specimen indicates that whilst the upsurge in malignancy incidence is correlated with modern lifestyles, there is no reason to suspect that primary bone tumours would have been any less frequent in ancient specimens. Such tumours are not related to lifestyle and often occur in younger individuals. As such, malignancy has a considerable antiquity in the fossil record, as evidenced by this specimen.

  19. Carnivoran remains from the Malapa hominin site, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian F Kuhn

    Full Text Available Recent discoveries at the new hominin-bearing deposits of Malapa, South Africa, have yielded a rich faunal assemblage associated with the newly described hominin taxon Australopithecus sediba. Dating of this deposit using U-Pb and palaeomagnetic methods has provided an age of 1.977 Ma, being one of the most accurately dated, time constrained deposits in the Plio-Pleistocene of southern Africa. To date, 81 carnivoran specimens have been identified at this site including members of the families Canidae, Viverridae, Herpestidae, Hyaenidae and Felidae. Of note is the presence of the extinct taxon Dinofelis cf. D. barlowi that may represent the last appearance date for this species. Extant large carnivores are represented by specimens of leopard (Panthera pardus and brown hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea. Smaller carnivores are also represented, and include the genera Atilax and Genetta, as well as Vulpes cf. V. chama. Malapa may also represent the first appearance date for Felis nigripes (Black-footed cat. The geochronological age of Malapa and the associated hominin taxa and carnivoran remains provide a window of research into mammalian evolution during a relatively unknown period in South Africa and elsewhere. In particular, the fauna represented at Malapa has the potential to elucidate aspects of the evolution of Dinofelis and may help resolve competing hypotheses about faunal exchange between East and Southern Africa during the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene.

  20. A study on provenance relation between Jiaotanxia ancient Guan porcelain and Qingliangsi ancient Ru porcelain by NAA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Rongwu; Feng Songlin; Huang Zhongxiang; Jia Xiuqin

    2004-01-01

    11 samples of ancient Chinese Ru porcelain from Qingliangsi kiln, 23 samples of ancient Chinese Guan porcelain from Jiaotanxia kiln and 4 samples of modern archaized Guan porcelain were obtained to determine the contents of elements in each of them by neutron activation analysis (NAA). The NAA data were further analyzed using fuzzy cluster analysis to obtain the fuzzy cluster trend diagrams for the bodies' samples and the glazes samples respectively. The analysis shows that the raw material origins of the Jiaotanxia ancient Chinese Guan porcelain bodies samples are very concentrated; those of the Qingliangsi ancient Chinese Ru porcelain bodies samples are a little dispersed; those of ancient Chinese Guan porcelain glazes samples are relatively concentrated; those of ancient Chinese Ru porcelain glazes samples are dispersed; and the origins of the raw material of ancient Chinese Guan porcelain glazes samples are obviously different from those of ancient Chinese Ru porcelain glazes samples. The bodies samples and glazes samples of Jiaotanxia ancient Chinese Guan porcelain and those of Qingliangsi ancient Chinese Ru porcelain have some difference but can be compared with each other. (authors)

  1. Apps for Ancient Civilizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Stephanie

    2011-01-01

    This project incorporates technology and a historical emphasis on science drawn from ancient civilizations to promote a greater understanding of conceptual science. In the Apps for Ancient Civilizations project, students investigate an ancient culture to discover how people might have used science and math smartphone apps to make their lives…

  2. Subocclusal dental morphology of sahelanthropus tchadensis and the evolution of teeth in hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emonet, Edouard-Georges; Andossa, Likius; Taïsso Mackaye, Hassane; Brunet, Michel

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of the teeth in hominins is characterized by, among other characters, major changes in root morphology. However, little is known of the evolution from a plesiomorphic, ape-like root morphology to the crown hominin morphology. Here we present a study of the root morphology of the Miocene Chadian hominin Sahelanthropus tchadensis and its comparison to other hominins. The morphology of the whole lower dentition (I1 -M3 ) was investigated and described. The comparison with the species Ardipithecus kaddaba and Ardipithecus ramidus indicates a global homogeneity of root morphology in early hominins. This morphology, characterized notably by a reduction of the size and number of the roots of premolars, is a composite between an ape-like morphology and the later hominin morphology. Trends for root evolution in hominins are proposed, including the transition from a basal hominoid to extant Homo sapiens. This study also illustrates the low association between the evolution of tooth root morphology and the evolution of crowns in hominins. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. An astronomically-tuned climate framework for hominins in the Turkana Basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Joordens, J.C.A.; Vonhof, H.B.; Feibel, C.S.; Lourens, L.J.; Dupont-Nivet, G.; Lubbe, J.H.J.L. van der; Sier, M.J.; Davies, G.R.; Kroon, D.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the influence of orbital climate cycles on hominin evolution remains a key challenge in paleoanthropology. The two major unresolved issues are: the absence of a climate proxy yielding high-resolution (< 20 kyr) terrestrial climate records, and the lack of age control on hominin fossil

  4. Bayesian analysis of a morphological supermatrix sheds light on controversial fossil hominin relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dembo, Mana; Matzke, Nicholas J; Mooers, Arne Ø; Collard, Mark

    2015-08-07

    The phylogenetic relationships of several hominin species remain controversial. Two methodological issues contribute to the uncertainty-use of partial, inconsistent datasets and reliance on phylogenetic methods that are ill-suited to testing competing hypotheses. Here, we report a study designed to overcome these issues. We first compiled a supermatrix of craniodental characters for all widely accepted hominin species. We then took advantage of recently developed Bayesian methods for building trees of serially sampled tips to test among hypotheses that have been put forward in three of the most important current debates in hominin phylogenetics--the relationship between Australopithecus sediba and Homo, the taxonomic status of the Dmanisi hominins, and the place of the so-called hobbit fossils from Flores, Indonesia, in the hominin tree. Based on our results, several published hypotheses can be statistically rejected. For example, the data do not support the claim that Dmanisi hominins and all other early Homo specimens represent a single species, nor that the hobbit fossils are the remains of small-bodied modern humans, one of whom had Down syndrome. More broadly, our study provides a new baseline dataset for future work on hominin phylogeny and illustrates the promise of Bayesian approaches for understanding hominin phylogenetic relationships. © 2015 The Author(s).

  5. Age and context of the oldest known hominin fossils from Flores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brumm, A.; van den Bergh, G.D.; Storey, M.; Kurniawan, I.; Alloway, B.V.; Setiawan, R.; Setiyabudi, E.; Grün, R.; Moore, M.; Yurnaldi, D.; Puspaningrum, M.R.; Wibowo, U.P.; Insani, H.; Sutisna, I.; Westgate, J.A.; Pearce, N.J.G.; Duval, M.; Meijer, H. J. M.; Aziz, F.; Sutikna, T.; van der Kaars, S.; Flude, S.; Morwood, M.J.

    2016-01-01

    Recent excavations at the early Middle Pleistocene site of Mata Menge in the So'a Basin of central Flores, Indonesia, have yielded hominin fossils attributed to a population ancestral to Late Pleistocene Homo floresiensis. Here we describe the age and context of the Mata Menge hominin specimens and

  6. An ecological and behavioural approach to hominin evolution during the Pliocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macho, Gabriele A.

    2014-07-01

    The study considers the turnover in hominins, together with carnivorans and other primates, at 3.5 Ma against an environmental backdrop. Communalities are identified between evolving guilds that may directly inform hominin evolution. These are the evolution of (a) dietary generalists and (b) evidence for sociality in carnivores, baboons and hominins. Sociality and behavioural flexibility are regarded advantageous for the procurement of resources while, at the same time, reducing intraspecific competition; in primates it may initially also have served to reduce predation risk. Behavioural flexibility explains the evolutionary success of Panthera leo, Papio and Homo. Viewed within a wider palaeoecological and environmental context, it is possible that sociality in hominins, including allocare, were triggered by abiotic changes at about 3.5 Ma. If confirmed in future studies, this would mark the beginning of hominin life history evolution.

  7. Dietary change among hominins and cercopithecids in Ethiopia during the early Pliocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Naomi E.; Haile-Selassie, Yohannes; Frost, Stephen R.; Saylor, Beverly Z.

    2015-10-01

    The incorporation of C4 resources into hominin diet signifies increased dietary breadth within hominins and divergence from the dietary patterns of other great apes. Morphological evidence indicates that hominin diet became increasingly diverse by 4.2 million years ago but may not have included large proportions of C4 foods until 800 thousand years later, given the available isotopic evidence. Here we use carbon isotope data from early to mid Pliocene hominin and cercopithecid fossils from Woranso-Mille (central Afar, Ethiopia) to constrain the timing of this dietary change and its ecological context. We show that both hominins and some papionins expanded their diets to include C4 resources as early as 3.76 Ma. Among hominins, this dietary expansion postdates the major dentognathic morphological changes that distinguish Australopithecus from Ardipithecus, but it occurs amid a continuum of adaptations to diets of tougher, harder foods and to committed terrestrial bipedality. In contrast, carbon isotope data from cercopithecids indicate that C4-dominated diets of the earliest members of the Theropithecus oswaldi lineage preceded the dental specialization for grazing but occurred after they were fully terrestrial. The combined data indicate that the inclusion of C4 foods in hominin diet occurred as part of broader ecological changes in African primate communities.

  8. Age and context of the oldest known hominin fossils from Flores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brumm, Adam; van den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Storey, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Recent excavations at the early Middle Pleistocene site of Mata Menge in the So'a Basin of central Flores, Indonesia, have yielded hominin fossils attributed to a population ancestral to Late Pleistocene Homo floresiensis. Here we describe the age and context of the Mata Menge hominin specimens...... current deposits, in combination with coupled uranium-series and electron spin resonance dating of fossil teeth. Palaeoenvironmental data indicate a relatively dry climate in the So'a Basin during the early Middle Pleistocene, while various lines of evidence suggest the hominins inhabited a savannah...

  9. Palaeoparasitology - Human Parasites in Ancient Material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Adauto; Reinhard, Karl; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Parasite finds in ancient material launched a new field of science: palaeoparasitology. Ever since the pioneering studies, parasites were identified in archaeological and palaeontological remains, some preserved for millions of years by fossilization. However, the palaeoparasitological record consists mainly of parasites found specifically in human archaeological material, preserved in ancient occupation sites, from prehistory until closer to 2015. The results include some helminth intestinal parasites still commonly found in 2015, such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms, besides others such as Amoebidae and Giardia intestinalis, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi and arthropods. These parasites as a whole provide important data on health, diet, climate and living conditions among ancient populations. This chapter describes the principal findings and their importance for knowledge on the origin and dispersal of infectious diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Studying Ancient History.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, Robin

    1982-01-01

    Defends the value and relevance of the study of ancient history and classics in history curricula. The unique homogeneity of the classical period contributes to its instructional manageability. A year-long, secondary-level course on fifth-century Greece and Rome is described to illustrate effective approaches to teaching ancient history. (AM)

  11. Ancient Astronomy in Armenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsamian, Elma S.

    2007-08-01

    The most important discovery, which enriched our knowledge of ancient astronomy in Armenia, was the complex of platforms for astronomical observations on the Small Hill of Metzamor, which may be called an ancient “observatory”. Investigations on that Hill show that the ancient inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands have left us not only pictures of celestial bodies, but a very ancient complex of platforms for observing the sky. Among the ancient monuments in Armenia there is a megalithic monument, probably, being connected with astronomy. 250km South-East of Yerevan there is a structure Zorats Kar (Karahunge) dating back to II millennium B.C. Vertical megaliths many of which are more than two meters high form stone rings resembling ancient stone monuments - henges in Great Britain and Brittany. Medieval observations of comets and novas by data in ancient Armenian manuscripts are found. In the collection of ancient Armenian manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan there are many manuscripts with information about observations of astronomical events as: solar and lunar eclipses, comets and novas, bolides and meteorites etc. in medieval Armenia.

  12. Medicine in Ancient Assur

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arbøll, Troels Pank

    This dissertation is a microhistorical study of a single individual named Kiṣir-Aššur who practiced medicine in the ancient city of Assur (modern northern Iraq) in the 7th century BCE. The study provides the first detailed analysis of one healer’s education and practice in ancient Mesopotamia...

  13. A mitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Matthias; Fu, Qiaomei; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Glocke, Isabelle; Nickel, Birgit; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald; Pääbo, Svante

    2014-01-16

    Excavations of a complex of caves in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain have unearthed hominin fossils that range in age from the early Pleistocene to the Holocene. One of these sites, the 'Sima de los Huesos' ('pit of bones'), has yielded the world's largest assemblage of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils, consisting of at least 28 individuals dated to over 300,000 years ago. The skeletal remains share a number of morphological features with fossils classified as Homo heidelbergensis and also display distinct Neanderthal-derived traits. Here we determine an almost complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos and show that it is closely related to the lineage leading to mitochondrial genomes of Denisovans, an eastern Eurasian sister group to Neanderthals. Our results pave the way for DNA research on hominins from the Middle Pleistocene.

  14. Fossil hominin ulnae and the forelimb of Paranthropus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHenry, Henry M; Brown, Cassandra C; McHenry, Lindsay J

    2007-10-01

    The discovery of Pan in the Middle Pleistocene deposits of the Kapthurin Formation of the Tugen Hills (McBrearty and Jablonski: Nature 437 (2005) 105-108) inspires new interest in the search for other chimpanzee fossils in the East African Rift Valley. Craniodental evidence of an eastward excursion of chimpanzee populations in the Plio-Pleistocene goes undetected in other hominin sites, but one enigmatic postcranial fossil, the Olduvai Hominid 36 ulna, has many chimp-like features. Analyses by Aiello et al. (Aiello et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 109 (1999) 89-110) reveal that it is similar to extant Pan in some respects, but it also has unique traits not seen in other hominoid species. They refer it to Paranthropus boisei. In this study, we reassess the affinities of OH 36 using a different data set that includes more recently discovered hominin fossils including those attributed to Paranthropus. Despite its superficial resemblance to modern Pan, our results agree with those of Aiello et al. (Aiello et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 109 (1999) 89-110) that OH 36 is distinctly different from modern chimpanzees. By default, it is reasonable to assign this specimen to P. boisei, but it is not at all similar to other ulnae referred to this genus. Ulnae attributed to Paranthropus from South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia are morphologically more heterogeneous than those within species of large-bodied Hominoidea. Although there are many apparent shared derived traits justifying a monophyletic Paranthropus clade, most if not all of these traits are related to a single functional complex (hypermastication) that may have evolved in parallel and thereby constituting a paraphyletic group of species. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Configurational approach to identifying the earliest hominin butchers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Pickering, Travis Rayne; Bunn, Henry T

    2010-12-07

    The announcement of two approximately 3.4-million-y-old purportedly butchered fossil bones from the Dikika paleoanthropological research area (Lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia) could profoundly alter our understanding of human evolution. Butchering damage on the Dikika bones would imply that tool-assisted meat-eating began approximately 800,000 y before previously thought, based on butchered bones from 2.6- to 2.5-million-y-old sites at the Ethiopian Gona and Bouri localities. Further, the only hominin currently known from Dikika at approximately 3.4 Ma is Australopithecus afarensis, a temporally and geographically widespread species unassociated previously with any archaeological evidence of butchering. Our taphonomic configurational approach to assess the claims of A. afarensis butchery at Dikika suggests the claims of unexpectedly early butchering at the site are not warranted. The Dikika research group focused its analysis on the morphology of the marks in question but failed to demonstrate, through recovery of similarly marked in situ fossils, the exact provenience of the published fossils, and failed to note occurrences of random striae on the cortices of the published fossils (incurred through incidental movement of the defleshed specimens across and/or within their abrasive encasing sediments). The occurrence of such random striae (sometimes called collectively "trampling" damage) on the two fossils provide the configurational context for rejection of the claimed butchery marks. The earliest best evidence for hominin butchery thus remains at 2.6 to 2.5 Ma, presumably associated with more derived species than A. afarensis.

  16. A morphometric analysis of hominin teeth attributed to Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo

    OpenAIRE

    Susan J. Dykes

    2016-01-01

    Teeth are the most common element in the fossil record and play a critical role in taxonomic assessments. Variability in extant hominoid species is commonly used as a basis to gauge expected ranges of variability in fossil hominin species. In this study, variability in lower first molars is visualised in morphospace for four extant hominoid species and seven fossil hominin species. A size-versus-shape-based principle component analysis plot was used to recognise spatial patterns applicable to...

  17. Brief communication: Lumbar lordosis in extinct hominins: implications of the pelvic incidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Been, Ella; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Kramer, Patricia A

    2014-06-01

    Recently, interest has peaked regarding the posture of extinct hominins. Here, we present a new method of reconstructing lordosis angles of extinct hominin specimens based on pelvic morphology, more specifically the orientation of the sacrum in relation to the acetabulum (pelvic incidence). Two regression models based on the correlation between pelvic incidence and lordosis angle in living hominoids have been developed. The mean values of the calculated lordosis angles based on these models are 36°-45° for australopithecines, 45°-47° for Homo erectus, 27°-34° for the Neandertals and the Sima de los Huesos hominins, and 49°-51° for fossil H. sapiens. The newly calculated lordosis values are consistent with previously published values of extinct hominins (Been et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 147 (2012) 64-77). If the mean values of the present nonhuman hominoids are representative of the pelvic and lumbar morphology of the last common ancestor between humans and nonhuman hominoids, then both pelvic incidence and lordosis angle dramatically increased during hominin evolution from 27° ± 5 to 22° ± 3 (respectively) in nonhuman hominoids to 54° ± 10 and 51° ± 11 in modern humans. This change to a more human-like configuration appeared early in the hominin evolution as the pelvis and spines of both australopithecines and H. erectus show a higher pelvic incidence and lordosis angle than nonhuman hominoids. The Sima de los Huesos hominins and Neandertals show a derived configuration with a low pelvic incidence and lordosis angle. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Hominin track assemblages from Okote Member deposits near Ileret, Kenya, and their implications for understanding fossil hominin paleobiology at 1.5 Ma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatala, Kevin G; Roach, Neil T; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Wunderlich, Roshna E; Dingwall, Heather L; Villmoare, Brian A; Green, David J; Braun, David R; Harris, John W K; Behrensmeyer, Anna K; Richmond, Brian G

    2017-11-01

    Tracks can provide unique, direct records of behaviors of fossil organisms moving across their landscapes millions of years ago. While track discoveries have been rare in the human fossil record, over the last decade our team has uncovered multiple sediment surfaces within the Okote Member of the Koobi Fora Formation near Ileret, Kenya that contain large assemblages of ∼1.5 Ma fossil hominin tracks. Here, we provide detailed information on the context and nature of each of these discoveries, and we outline the specific data that are preserved on the Ileret hominin track surfaces. We analyze previously unpublished data to refine and expand upon earlier hypotheses regarding implications for hominin anatomy and social behavior. While each of the track surfaces discovered at Ileret preserves a different amount of data that must be handled in particular ways, general patterns are evident. Overall, the analyses presented here support earlier interpretations of the ∼1.5 Ma Ileret track assemblages, providing further evidence of large, human-like body sizes and possibly evidence of a group composition that could support the emergence of certain human-like patterns of social behavior. These data, used in concert with other forms of paleontological and archaeological evidence that are deposited on different temporal scales, offer unique windows through which we can broaden our understanding of the paleobiology of hominins living in East Africa at ∼1.5 Ma. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Dentistry in ancient mesopotamia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neiburger, E J

    2000-01-01

    Sumer, an empire in ancient Mesopotamia (southern Iraq), is well known as the cradle of our modern civilization and the home of biblical Abraham. An analysis of skeletal remains from cemeteries at the ancient cities of Ur and Kish (circa 2000 B.C.), show a genetically homogeneous, diseased, and short-lived population. These ancient Mesopotamians suffered severe dental attrition (95 percent), periodontal disease (42 percent), and caries (2 percent). Many oral congenital and neoplastic lesions were noted. During this period, the "local dentists" knew only a few modern dental techniques. Skeletal (dental) evidence indicates that the population suffered from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition was probably caused by famine, which is substantiated in historic cuneiform and biblical writings, geologic strata samples, and analysis of skeletal and forensic dental pathology. These people had modern dentition but relatively poor dental health. The population's lack of malocclusions, caries, and TMJ problems appear to be due to flat plane occlusion.

  20. Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirks, Paul H G M; Berger, Lee R; Roberts, Eric M; Kramers, Jan D; Hawks, John; Randolph-Quinney, Patrick S; Elliott, Marina; Musiba, Charles M; Churchill, Steven E; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Schmid, Peter; Backwell, Lucinda R; Belyanin, Georgy A; Boshoff, Pedro; Hunter, K Lindsay; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Gurtov, Alia; Harrison, James du G; Hunter, Rick; Kruger, Ashley; Morris, Hannah; Makhubela, Tebogo V; Peixotto, Becca; Tucker, Steven

    2015-09-10

    We describe the physical context of the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave, South Africa, which contains the fossils of Homo naledi. Approximately 1550 specimens of hominin remains have been recovered from at least 15 individuals, representing a small portion of the total fossil content. Macro-vertebrate fossils are exclusively H. naledi, and occur within clay-rich sediments derived from in situ weathering, and exogenous clay and silt, which entered the chamber through fractures that prevented passage of coarser-grained material. The chamber was always in the dark zone, and not accessible to non-hominins. Bone taphonomy indicates that hominin individuals reached the chamber complete, with disarticulation occurring during/after deposition. Hominins accumulated over time as older laminated mudstone units and sediment along the cave floor were eroded. Preliminary evidence is consistent with deliberate body disposal in a single location, by a hominin species other than Homo sapiens, at an as-yet unknown date.

  1. Shallow-water habitats as sources of fallback foods for hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrangham, Richard; Cheney, Dorothy; Seyfarth, Robert; Sarmiento, Esteban

    2009-12-01

    Underground storage organs (USOs) have been proposed as critical fallback foods for early hominins in savanna, but there has been little discussion as to which habitats would have been important sources of USOs. USOs consumed by hominins could have included both underwater and underground storage organs, i.e., from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Shallow aquatic habitats tend to offer high plant growth rates, high USO densities, and relatively continuous USO availability throughout the year. Baboons in the Okavango delta use aquatic USOs as a fallback food, and aquatic or semiaquatic USOs support high-density human populations in various parts of the world. As expected given fossilization requisites, the African early- to mid-Pleistocene shows an association of Homo and Paranthropus fossils with shallow-water and flooded habitats where high densities of plant-bearing USOs are likely to have occurred. Given that early hominins in the tropics lived in relatively dry habitats, while others occupied temperate latitudes, ripe, fleshy fruits of the type preferred by African apes would not normally have been available year round. We therefore suggest that water-associated USOs were likely to have been key fallback foods, and that dry-season access to aquatic habitats would have been an important predictor of hominin home range quality. This study differs from traditional savanna chimpanzee models of hominin origins by proposing that access to aquatic habitats was a necessary condition for adaptation to savanna habitats. It also raises the possibility that harvesting efficiency in shallow water promoted adaptations for habitual bipedality in early hominins.

  2. Ancient Chinese Precedents in China

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Geddis, Robert

    1999-01-01

    ... classics from ancient china. The assumption is that since China's political and military leaders state openly that their strategy is based on traditional Chinese strategic concepts, a study of ancient classics on strategy...

  3. Femoral neck structure and function in early hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, Christopher B; Higgins, Ryan

    2013-04-01

    All early (Pliocene-Early Pleistocene) hominins exhibit some differences in proximal femoral morphology from modern humans, including a long femoral neck and a low neck-shaft angle. In addition, australopiths (Au. afarensis, Au. africanus, Au. boisei, Paranthropus boisei), but not early Homo, have an "anteroposteriorly compressed" femoral neck and a small femoral head relative to femoral shaft breadth. Superoinferior asymmetry of cortical bone in the femoral neck has been claimed to be human-like in australopiths. In this study, we measured superior and inferior cortical thicknesses at the middle and base of the femoral neck using computed tomography in six Au. africanus and two P. robustus specimens. Cortical asymmetry in the fossils is closer overall to that of modern humans than to apes, although many values are intermediate between humans and apes, or even more ape-like in the midneck. Comparisons of external femoral neck and head dimensions were carried out for a more comprehensive sample of South and East African australopiths (n = 17) and two early Homo specimens. These show that compared with modern humans, femoral neck superoinferior, but not anteroposterior breadth, is larger relative to femoral head breadth in australopiths, but not in early Homo. Both internal and external characteristics of the australopith femoral neck indicate adaptation to relatively increased superoinferior bending loads, compared with both modern humans and early Homo. These observations, and a relatively small femoral head, are consistent with a slightly altered gait pattern in australopiths, involving more lateral deviation of the body center of mass over the stance limb. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. The first hominin from the early Pleistocene paleocave of Haasgat, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AB Leece

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Haasgat is a primate-rich fossil locality in the northeastern part of the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we report the first hominin identified from Haasgat, a partial maxillary molar (HGT 500, that was recovered from an ex situ calcified sediment block sampled from the locality. The in situ fossil bearing deposits of the Haasgat paleokarstic deposits are estimated to date to slightly older than 1.95 Ma based on magnetobiostratigraphy. This places the hominin specimen at a critical time period in South Africa that marks the last occurrence of Australopithecus around 1.98 Ma and the first evidence of Paranthropus and Homo in the region between ∼2.0 and 1.8 Ma. A comprehensive morphological evaluation of the Haasgat hominin molar was conducted against the current South African catalogue of hominin dental remains and imaging analyses using micro-CT, electron and confocal microscopy. The preserved occlusal morphology is most similar to Australopithecus africanus or early Homo specimens but different from Paranthropus. Occlusal linear enamel thickness measured from micro-CT scans provides an average of ∼2.0 mm consistent with Australopithecus and early Homo. Analysis of the enamel microstructure suggests an estimated periodicity of 7–9 days. Hunter–Schreger bands appear long and straight as in some Paranthropus, but contrast with this genus in the short shape of the striae of Retzius. Taken together, these data suggests that the maxillary fragment recovered from Haasgat best fits within the Australopithecus—early Homo hypodigms to the exclusion of the genus Paranthropus. At ∼1.95 Ma this specimen would either represent another example of late occurring Australopithecus or one of the earliest examples of Homo in the region. While the identification of this first hominin specimen from Haasgat is not unexpected given the composition of other South African penecontemporaneous site deposits, it represents

  5. The first hominin from the early Pleistocene paleocave of Haasgat, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leece, A B; Kegley, Anthony D T; Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Herries, Andy I R; Hemingway, Jason; Kgasi, Lazarus; Potze, Stephany; Adams, Justin W

    2016-01-01

    Haasgat is a primate-rich fossil locality in the northeastern part of the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we report the first hominin identified from Haasgat, a partial maxillary molar (HGT 500), that was recovered from an ex situ calcified sediment block sampled from the locality. The in situ fossil bearing deposits of the Haasgat paleokarstic deposits are estimated to date to slightly older than 1.95 Ma based on magnetobiostratigraphy. This places the hominin specimen at a critical time period in South Africa that marks the last occurrence of Australopithecus around 1.98 Ma and the first evidence of Paranthropus and Homo in the region between ∼2.0 and 1.8 Ma. A comprehensive morphological evaluation of the Haasgat hominin molar was conducted against the current South African catalogue of hominin dental remains and imaging analyses using micro-CT, electron and confocal microscopy. The preserved occlusal morphology is most similar to Australopithecus africanus or early Homo specimens but different from Paranthropus. Occlusal linear enamel thickness measured from micro-CT scans provides an average of ∼2.0 mm consistent with Australopithecus and early Homo. Analysis of the enamel microstructure suggests an estimated periodicity of 7-9 days. Hunter-Schreger bands appear long and straight as in some Paranthropus, but contrast with this genus in the short shape of the striae of Retzius. Taken together, these data suggests that the maxillary fragment recovered from Haasgat best fits within the Australopithecus-early Homo hypodigms to the exclusion of the genus Paranthropus. At ∼1.95 Ma this specimen would either represent another example of late occurring Australopithecus or one of the earliest examples of Homo in the region. While the identification of this first hominin specimen from Haasgat is not unexpected given the composition of other South African penecontemporaneous site deposits, it represents one of the few hominin

  6. New footprints from Laetoli (Tanzania) provide evidence for marked body size variation in early hominins

    OpenAIRE

    Masao, Fidelis T; Ichumbaki, Elgidius B; Cherin, Marco; Barili, Angelo; Boschian, Giovanni; Iurino, Dawid A; Menconero, Sofia; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo; Manzi, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    eLife digest Fossil footprints are extremely useful tools in the palaeontological record. Their physical features can help to identify their makers, but can also be used to infer biological information. How did the track-maker move? How large was it? How fast was it going? Footprints of hominins (namely the group to which humans and our ancestors belong) are pretty rare. Nearly all of the hominin footprints discovered so far are attributed to species of the genus Homo, to which modern humans ...

  7. Mathematics in Ancient India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this series of articles, we intend to have a glimpse of some of the landmarks in ancient In- dian mathematics with special emphasis on num- ber theory. This issue features a brief overview of some of the high peaks of mathematics in an- cient India. In the next part we shall describe. Aryabhata's general solution in integers ...

  8. Printing Ancient Terracotta Warriors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadecki, Victoria L.

    2010-01-01

    Standing in awe in Xian, China, at the Terra Cotta warrior archaeological site, the author thought of sharing this experience and excitement with her sixth-grade students. She decided to let her students carve patterns of the ancient soldiers to understand their place in Chinese history. They would make block prints and print multiple soldiers on…

  9. Trepanation in Ancient China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobert, Leah; Binello, Emanuela

    2017-05-01

    Trepanation, the process of making a burr hole in the skull to access the brain, is an ancient form of a primitive craniotomy. There is widespread evidence of contributions made to this practice by ancient civilizations in Europe, Africa, and South America, where archaeologists have unearthed thousands of trepanned skulls dating back to the Neolithic period. Little is known about trepanation in China, and it is commonly believed that the Chinese used only traditional Chinese medicine and nonsurgical methods for treating brain injuries. However, a thorough analysis of the available archeological and literary evidence reveals that trepanation was widely practiced throughout China thousands of years ago. A significant number of trepanned Chinese skulls have been unearthed showing signs of healing and suggesting that patients survived after surgery. Trepanation was likely performed for therapeutic and spiritual reasons. Medical and historical works from Chinese literature contain descriptions of primitive neurosurgical procedures, including stories of surgeons, such as the legendary Hua Tuo, and surgical techniques used for the treatment of brain pathologies. The lack of translation of Chinese reports into the English language and the lack of publications on this topic in the English language may have contributed to the misconception that ancient China was devoid of trepanation. This article summarizes the available evidence attesting to the performance of successful primitive cranial surgery in ancient China. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Ancient Egypt: History 380.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turk, Laraine D.

    "Ancient Egypt," an upper-division, non-required history course covering Egypt from pre-dynastic time through the Roman domination is described. General descriptive information is presented first, including the method of grading, expectation of student success rate, long-range course objectives, procedures for revising the course, major…

  11. Ancient Egypt: Personal Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolinski, Arelene

    This teacher resource book provides information on ancient Egypt via short essays, photographs, maps, charts, and drawings. Egyptian social and religious life, including writing, art, architecture, and even the practice of mummification, is conveniently summarized for the teacher or other practitioner in a series of one to three page articles with…

  12. Mathematics in Ancient India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Number Theory for its own sake, as a great 'intellectual challenge, has a long history, particularly here in India. Already in the 7th century, Brahmagupta made impor- tant contributions to what is now known (incorrectly) as. Pell's equation.: Michael Atiyah ([1], p.913). In number theory, the grandest achievements of ancient.

  13. Ancient deforestation revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, J Donald

    2011-01-01

    The image of the classical Mediterranean environment of the Greeks and Romans had a formative influence on the art, literature, and historical perception of modern Europe and America. How closely does is this image congruent with the ancient environment as it in reality existed? In particular, how forested was the ancient Mediterranean world, was there deforestation, and if so, what were its effects? The consensus of historians, geographers, and other scholars from the mid-nineteenth century through the first three quarters of the twentieth century was that human activities had depleted the forests to a major extent and caused severe erosion. My research confirmed this general picture. Since then, revisionist historians have questioned these conclusions, maintaining instead that little environmental damage was done to forests and soils in ancient Greco-Roman times. In a reconsideration of the question, this paper looks at recent scientific work providing proxy evidence for the condition of forests at various times in ancient history. I look at three scientific methodologies, namely anthracology, palynology, and computer modeling. Each of these avenues of research offers support for the concept of forest change, both in abundance and species composition, and episodes of deforestation and erosion, and confirms my earlier work.

  14. Creative Ventures: Ancient Civilizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Rebecca

    The open-ended activities in this book are designed to extend the imagination and creativity of students and encourage students to examine their feelings and values about historic eras. Civilizations addressed include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan, Stonehenge, and Mesopotamia. The activities focus upon the cognitive and affective pupil…

  15. Mathematics in Ancient India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    SERIES I ARTICLE. Mathematics in Ancient India. 3. Brahmagupta's Lemma: The Samasabhavana. Amartya Kumar Dutta is an Associate Professor of. Mathematics at the. Indian Statistical. Institute, Kolkata. His research interest is in commutative algebra. Part 1, An overview, Reso- nance, VoL7, No.4, pp.4-19,. 2002. Part 2.

  16. Incest in Ancient Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Škorić Marko

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available There are many controversies that surround the problem of incest in Ancient Egypt. One of them is belief that incest was practiced exclusively by the Royal families, which is incorrect. I will try to show that at this time we don’t have satisfactory explanation of this kind of behavior, but that there are interesting suggestions for further research.

  17. Ancient ports of Kalinga

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Tripati, S.

    which plied between Kalinga and south east Asian countries. Nanda Raja, is said to have attacked Kalinga with the intention of getting access to the sea for the landlocked Kingdom of Magadha (Bihar). The ancient texa Artha Sastra (3rd-4th century B...

  18. The ICDP-Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP): new data from the Chew Bahir site in Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leng, Melanie; Dean, Jonathan; Asrat, Asfawossen; Cohen, Andrew; Foerster, Verena; Just, Janna; Klasen, Nicole; Lamb, Henry; Schäbitz, Frank; Trauth, Martin; Viehberg, Finn; Wagner, Bernd

    2016-04-01

    There are currently few long, continuous, Pleistocene records from East Africa, meaning it has been difficult to establish the relative influence of low- versus high-latitude forcing on East African climate and climatic conditions at the time of anatomically modern human origin and subsequent dispersal. We have been attempting to address these gaps in our knowledge by analysing lake sediments taken from Chew Bahir, an area of playa mudflats in southern Ethiopia close to the site of the oldest-known anatomically modern human fossils at Omo-Kibish. In March 2014, Chew Bahir was cored to a depth of ~40 metres, and the resulting sediment sequence is estimated to cover the last ~115ka. In December 2014, a nearby site was drilled to a depth of ~280 metres as part of the International Continental scientific Drilling Programme - Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP). The oxygen and carbon isotope composition of endogenic calcite and other data from these cores will be presented. The data show some significant changes in water balance variability, the period prior to 70ka appears very unstable with some significant periods of drought and flood. Between 70-20ka the lake was stable and evaporative. The last 20ka years was wetter.

  19. A hominin first rib discovered at the Sterkfontein Caves, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaokgatlhe Tawane

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available First ribs – the first or most superior ribs in the thorax – are rare in the hominin fossil record, and when found, have the potential to provide information regarding the upper thorax shape of extinct hominins. Here, we describe a partial first rib from Member 4 of the Sterkfontein Caves, South Africa. The rib shaft is broken away, so only the head and neck are preserved. The rib is small, falling closest to small-bodied Australopithecus first ribs (AL 288-1 and MH1. Given that it was recovered near the StW 318 femur excavation, which also represents a small individual, we suggest that the two may be associated. Three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses were used to quantify the rib fragment morphology and compare it to extant hominoid and other fossil hominin ribs. While only the proximal end is preserved, our analyses show that South African Australopithecus share derived features of the proximal first rib more closely resembling A. afarensis and later hominins than great apes.

  20. Age and context of the oldest known hominin fossils from Flores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumm, Adam; van den Bergh, Gerrit D; Storey, Michael; Kurniawan, Iwan; Alloway, Brent V; Setiawan, Ruly; Setiyabudi, Erick; Grün, Rainer; Moore, Mark W; Yurnaldi, Dida; Puspaningrum, Mika R; Wibowo, Unggul P; Insani, Halmi; Sutisna, Indra; Westgate, John A; Pearce, Nick J G; Duval, Mathieu; Meijer, Hanneke J M; Aziz, Fachroel; Sutikna, Thomas; van der Kaars, Sander; Flude, Stephanie; Morwood, Michael J

    2016-06-09

    Recent excavations at the early Middle Pleistocene site of Mata Menge in the So'a Basin of central Flores, Indonesia, have yielded hominin fossils attributed to a population ancestral to Late Pleistocene Homo floresiensis. Here we describe the age and context of the Mata Menge hominin specimens and associated archaeological findings. The fluvial sandstone layer from which the in situ fossils were excavated in 2014 was deposited in a small valley stream around 700 thousand years ago, as indicated by (40)Ar/(39)Ar and fission track dates on stratigraphically bracketing volcanic ash and pyroclastic density current deposits, in combination with coupled uranium-series and electron spin resonance dating of fossil teeth. Palaeoenvironmental data indicate a relatively dry climate in the So'a Basin during the early Middle Pleistocene, while various lines of evidence suggest the hominins inhabited a savannah-like open grassland habitat with a wetland component. The hominin fossils occur alongside the remains of an insular fauna and a simple stone technology that is markedly similar to that associated with Late Pleistocene H. floresiensis.

  1. Dental microwear and diet of the Plio-Pleistocene hominin Paranthropus boisei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ungar, Peter S; Grine, Frederick E; Teaford, Mark F

    2008-04-30

    The Plio-Pleistocene hominin Paranthropus boisei had enormous, flat, thickly enameled cheek teeth, a robust cranium and mandible, and inferred massive, powerful chewing muscles. This specialized morphology, which earned P. boisei the nickname "Nutcracker Man", suggests that this hominin could have consumed very mechanically challenging foods. It has been recently argued, however, that specialized hominin morphology may indicate adaptations for the consumption of occasional fallback foods rather than preferred resources. Dental microwear offers a potential means by which to test this hypothesis in that it reflects actual use rather than genetic adaptation. High microwear surface texture complexity and anisotropy in extant primates can be associated with the consumption of exceptionally hard and tough foods respectively. Here we present the first quantitative analysis of dental microwear for P. boisei. Seven specimens examined preserved unobscured antemortem molar microwear. These all show relatively low complexity and anisotropy values. This suggests that none of the individuals consumed especially hard or tough foods in the days before they died. The apparent discrepancy between microwear and functional anatomy is consistent with the idea that P. boisei presents a hominin example of Liem's Paradox, wherein a highly derived morphology need not reflect a specialized diet.

  2. Dental microwear and diet of the Plio-Pleistocene hominin Paranthropus boisei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter S Ungar

    Full Text Available The Plio-Pleistocene hominin Paranthropus boisei had enormous, flat, thickly enameled cheek teeth, a robust cranium and mandible, and inferred massive, powerful chewing muscles. This specialized morphology, which earned P. boisei the nickname "Nutcracker Man", suggests that this hominin could have consumed very mechanically challenging foods. It has been recently argued, however, that specialized hominin morphology may indicate adaptations for the consumption of occasional fallback foods rather than preferred resources. Dental microwear offers a potential means by which to test this hypothesis in that it reflects actual use rather than genetic adaptation. High microwear surface texture complexity and anisotropy in extant primates can be associated with the consumption of exceptionally hard and tough foods respectively. Here we present the first quantitative analysis of dental microwear for P. boisei. Seven specimens examined preserved unobscured antemortem molar microwear. These all show relatively low complexity and anisotropy values. This suggests that none of the individuals consumed especially hard or tough foods in the days before they died. The apparent discrepancy between microwear and functional anatomy is consistent with the idea that P. boisei presents a hominin example of Liem's Paradox, wherein a highly derived morphology need not reflect a specialized diet.

  3. Nuclear DNA sequences from the Middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Matthias; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; de Filippo, Cesare; Nagel, Sarah; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Nickel, Birgit; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia, Ana; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald; Viola, Bence; Kelso, Janet; Prüfer, Kay; Pääbo, Svante

    2016-03-24

    A unique assemblage of 28 hominin individuals, found in Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain, has recently been dated to approximately 430,000 years ago. An interesting question is how these Middle Pleistocene hominins were related to those who lived in the Late Pleistocene epoch, in particular to Neanderthals in western Eurasia and to Denisovans, a sister group of Neanderthals so far known only from southern Siberia. While the Sima de los Huesos hominins share some derived morphological features with Neanderthals, the mitochondrial genome retrieved from one individual from Sima de los Huesos is more closely related to the mitochondrial DNA of Denisovans than to that of Neanderthals. However, since the mitochondrial DNA does not reveal the full picture of relationships among populations, we have investigated DNA preservation in several individuals found at Sima de los Huesos. Here we recover nuclear DNA sequences from two specimens, which show that the Sima de los Huesos hominins were related to Neanderthals rather than to Denisovans, indicating that the population divergence between Neanderthals and Denisovans predates 430,000 years ago. A mitochondrial DNA recovered from one of the specimens shares the previously described relationship to Denisovan mitochondrial DNAs, suggesting, among other possibilities, that the mitochondrial DNA gene pool of Neanderthals turned over later in their history.

  4. Understanding Paleoclimate and Human Evolution Through the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaye Reed

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the evolution of humans and our close relatives is one of the enduring scientific issues of modern times. Since the time of Charles Darwin, scientists have speculated on how and when we evolved and what conditions drove this evolutionary story. The detective work required to address these questions is necessarily interdisciplinary,involving research in anthropology, archaeology, human genetics and genomics, and the earth sciences. In addition to the difficult tasks of finding, describing, and interpreting hominin fossils (the taxonomic tribe which includes Homo sapiens and our close fossil relatives from the last 6 Ma, much of modern geological research associated with paleoanthropology involves understanding the geochronologic and paleoenvironmental context of those fossils. When were they entombed in the sediments? What were the local and regional climatic conditions that early hominins experienced? How did local (watershed scale and regional climate processes combine with regional tectonic boundary conditions to influence hominin food resources, foraging patterns, and demography? How and when did these conditions vary from humid to dry, or cool to warm? Can the history of those conditions (Vrba, 1988; Potts, 1996 be related to the evolution, diversification, stasis, or extinction of hominin species?

  5. Earliest porotic hyperostosis on a 1.5-million-year-old hominin, olduvai gorge, Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo

    Full Text Available Meat-eating was an important factor affecting early hominin brain expansion, social organization and geographic movement. Stone tool butchery marks on ungulate fossils in several African archaeological assemblages demonstrate a significant level of carnivory by Pleistocene hominins, but the discovery at Olduvai Gorge of a child's pathological cranial fragments indicates that some hominins probably experienced scarcity of animal foods during various stages of their life histories. The child's parietal fragments, excavated from 1.5-million-year-old sediments, show porotic hyperostosis, a pathology associated with anemia. Nutritional deficiencies, including anemia, are most common at weaning, when children lose passive immunity received through their mothers' milk. Our results suggest, alternatively, that (1 the developmentally disruptive potential of weaning reached far beyond sedentary Holocene food-producing societies and into the early Pleistocene, or that (2 a hominin mother's meat-deficient diet negatively altered the nutritional content of her breast milk to the extent that her nursing child ultimately died from malnourishment. Either way, this discovery highlights that by at least 1.5 million years ago early human physiology was already adapted to a diet that included the regular consumption of meat.

  6. Bacteria in ancient sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Izzo, G.

    1986-01-01

    In order to ascertain the role of biological activity in ancient sediments, two microbiological studies were carried out. The first was on pleistocenic clay sediments on land, the second on deep oceanic sediments. In the present paper by direct counting the samples is demonstrated the presence of bacteria in a range of 10 5 to 10 7 . Further studies must be carried out to ascertain the activities by in situ incubation methods

  7. Childbirth in ancient Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Geoffrey

    2004-11-01

    Medicine in ancient Egypt was much more advanced than the rest of the Biblical world, especially in trauma surgery. Care at the time of childbirth was however virtually non-existent. There were no trained obstetricians or midwives but a galaxy of gods were at hand. This article traces what we can piece together about pregnancy of childbirth from the evidence we have in tombs and papyri of Egypt.

  8. Luminescence dating and palaeomagnetic age constraint on hominins from Sima de los Huesos, Atapuerca, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Lee J; Demuro, Martina; Parés, Josep M; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Aranburu, Arantza; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2014-02-01

    Establishing a reliable chronology on the extensive hominin remains at Sima de los Huesos is critical for an improved understanding of the complex evolutionary histories and phylogenetic relationships of the European Middle Pleistocene hominin record. In this study, we use a combination of 'extended-range' luminescence dating techniques and palaeomagnetism to provide new age constraint on sedimentary infills that are unambiguously associated with the Sima fossil assemblage. Post-infrared-infrared stimulated luminescence (pIR-IR) dating of K-feldspars and thermally transferred optically stimulated luminescence (TT-OSL) dating of individual quartz grains provide weighted mean ages of 433 ± 15 ka (thousands of years) and 416 ± 19 ka, respectively, for allochthonous sedimentary horizons overlying the hominin-bearing clay breccia. The six replicate luminescence ages obtained for this deposit are reproducible and provide a combined minimum age estimate of 427 ± 12 ka for the underlying hominin fossils. Palaeomagnetic directions for the luminescence dated sediment horizon and underlying fossiliferous clays display exclusively normal polarities. These findings are consistent with the luminescence dating results and confirm that the hominin fossil horizon accumulated during the Brunhes Chron, i.e., within the last 780 ka. The new bracketing age constraint for the Sima hominins is in broad agreement with radiometrically dated Homo heidelbergensis fossil sites, such as Mauer and Arago, and suggests that the split of the H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens lineages took place during the early Middle Pleistocene. More widespread numerical dating of key Early and Middle Pleistocene fossil sites across Europe is needed to test and refine competing models of hominin evolution. The new luminescence chronologies presented in this study demonstrate the versatility of TT-OSL and pIR-IR techniques and the potential role they could play in helping to refine evolutionary

  9. Linen in Ancient Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    dr.Rehab Mahmoud Ahmed Elsharnouby

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Egypt was famous through the Ancient Near East for both weaving linen cloth and the produced quantities. Cloth was sent as expensive gifts from one king to another and given to a laborer as wages in return for his work. Cloth was regarded as an essential element in everyday life as it could be used for everything: clothing, bedding, trappings for animals, or sails of a ship. It was in fact one of the most widely used item throughout Ancient Egypt. Although other textile fibers were used in Pharaonic Egypt, namely, sheep's wool, goat hair and a form of coir, the majority of textiles were made from the plant Linum usitatissimum, flax. Cloth made from this fiber is defined as linen. The research starts with a brief definition of the flax, and then reviews the scenes representing the sowing and the harvesting of its seeds. It also focuses on the way of removing the seeds heads, the preparing of the flax for spinning: retting, beating and scutching. After that, it deals with transforming flax into orderly lengths, and rolling it into balls or coils. The researcher as well studies the Ancient Egyptian spinning techniques: grasped spindle, support spindle and drop spinning; the different types of weaving: tabby weaves, basket weaves, tapestry weaves and warps-patterned weave and the types of looms that were in use in Egypt, namely, the horizontal and vertical looms.

  10. New evidence for hominin carcass processing strategies at 1.5 Ma, Koobi Fora, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pobiner, Briana L; Rogers, Michael J; Monahan, Christopher M; Harris, John W K

    2008-07-01

    Reconstruction of early Pleistocene hominin carcass acquisition and processing behaviors are necessarily based at least in part on butchered fossil bones. This paper provides zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses and behavioral interpretations of three approximately 1.5 million-year-old archaeofaunas from areas 1A and 103 in the Okote Member of the Koobi Fora Formation, northern Kenya: FwJj14A, FwJj14B, and GaJi14. These sites are all located in similar paleoenvironmental contexts, near shallow water with swampy, seasonally flooded areas, and some evidence for more wooded or gallery forest settings. Both individual specimen--and assemblage-level analyses of butchery-marked bones indicate that the hominins appear to have practiced similar butchery strategies at all of these sites, with butchery (defleshing, disarticulation, and marrow extraction) of both high- and low-ranked skeletal elements with no apparent preference for prey size, skeletal region, limb class, or limb portion. Only four tooth-marked specimens, including one likely crocodile-tooth-marked bone, are preserved in all three archaeofaunas. A paucity of limb epiphyses suggests that bone-crunching hyenids may have deleted these portions subsequent to hominin butchery. Strangely, there are no stone tools preserved with the 292 cut-marked and 27 percussion-marked faunal specimens (out of a total of 6,039 specimens), suggesting that raw material availability may have conditioned hominin lithic discard patterns at these locales. These assemblages increase our knowledge of the dietary behavior and ecology of Homo erectus, and provide support for variability in early Pleistocene hominin carcass foraging patterns.

  11. A morphometric analysis of hominin teeth attributed to Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan J. Dykes

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Teeth are the most common element in the fossil record and play a critical role in taxonomic assessments. Variability in extant hominoid species is commonly used as a basis to gauge expected ranges of variability in fossil hominin species. In this study, variability in lower first molars is visualised in morphospace for four extant hominoid species and seven fossil hominin species. A size-versus-shape-based principle component analysis plot was used to recognise spatial patterns applicable to sexual dimorphism in extant species for comparison with fossil hominin species. In three African great ape species, variability occurs predominantly according to size (rather than shape, with the gorilla sample further separating into a male and a female group according to size. A different pattern is apparent for the modern human sample, in which shape variability is more evident. There is overlap between male and female modern humans and some evidence of grouping by linguistic/tribal populations. When fossil hominin species are analysed using equivalent axes of variance, the specimens group around species holotypes in quite similar patterns to those of the extant African great apes, but six individual fossil molars fall well outside of polygons circumscribing holotype clusters; at least three of these specimens are of interest for discussion in the context of sexual dimorphism, species variability and current species classifications. An implication of this study is that, especially in the case of modern humans, great caution needs to be exercised in using extant species as analogues for assessing variability considered to be a result of sexual dimorphism in fossil hominin species.

  12. A geometric morphometric analysis of hominin lower molars: Evolutionary implications and overview of postcanine dental variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Prado-Simón, Leyre; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-05-01

    Lower molars have been extensively studied in the context of hominin evolution using classic and geometric morphometric analyses, 2D and 3D approaches, evaluations of the external (outer enamel surface) and internal anatomy (dentine, pulp chamber, and radicular canals), and studies of the crown and root variation. In this study, we present a 2D geometric morphometric analysis of the crown anatomy of lower first, second, and third molars of a broad sample of hominins, including Pliocene and Lower, Middle, and Upper Pleistocene species coming from Africa, Asia, and Europe. We show that shape variability increases from first to second and third molars. While first molars tend to retain a relatively stable 5-cusped conformation throughout the hominin fossil record, second and third molars show marked distal reductions in later Homo species. This trend to distal reduction is similar to that observed in previous studies of premolars and upper second and third molars, and points to a correlated reduction of distal areas across the whole postcanine dentition. Results on lower molar variation, as well as on other postcanine teeth, show certain trends in European Pleistocene populations from the Atapuerca sites. Middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos show Neanderthal affinities and strong dental reduction, especially in the most distal molars. The degree of dental reduction in this population is stronger than that observed in classic Neanderthals. Homo antecessor hominins from Gran Dolina-TD6 have primitive lower teeth that contrast with their more derived upper teeth. The evolutionary implications of these dental affinities are discussed in light of recent paleogenetic studies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. A simple rule governs the evolution and development of hominin tooth size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Alistair R; Daly, E Susanne; Catlett, Kierstin K; Paul, Kathleen S; King, Stephen J; Skinner, Matthew M; Nesse, Hans P; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Townsend, Grant C; Schwartz, Gary T; Jernvall, Jukka

    2016-02-25

    The variation in molar tooth size in humans and our closest relatives (hominins) has strongly influenced our view of human evolution. The reduction in overall size and disproportionate decrease in third molar size have been noted for over a century, and have been attributed to reduced selection for large dentitions owing to changes in diet or the acquisition of cooking. The systematic pattern of size variation along the tooth row has been described as a 'morphogenetic gradient' in mammal, and more specifically hominin, teeth since Butler and Dahlberg. However, the underlying controls of tooth size have not been well understood, with hypotheses ranging from morphogenetic fields to the clone theory. In this study we address the following question: are there rules that govern how hominin tooth size evolves? Here we propose that the inhibitory cascade, an activator-inhibitor mechanism that affects relative tooth size in mammals, produces the default pattern of tooth sizes for all lower primary postcanine teeth (deciduous premolars and permanent molars) in hominins. This configuration is also equivalent to a morphogenetic gradient, finally pointing to a mechanism that can generate this gradient. The pattern of tooth size remains constant with absolute size in australopiths (including Ardipithecus, Australopithecus and Paranthropus). However, in species of Homo, including modern humans, there is a tight link between tooth proportions and absolute size such that a single developmental parameter can explain both the relative and absolute sizes of primary postcanine teeth. On the basis of the relationship of inhibitory cascade patterning with size, we can use the size at one tooth position to predict the sizes of the remaining four primary postcanine teeth in the row for hominins. Our study provides a development-based expectation to examine the evolution of the unique proportions of human teeth.

  14. Suicide in ancient Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laios, K; Tsoukalas, G; Kontaxaki, M-I; Karamanou, M; Androutsos, G

    2014-01-01

    The theme of suicide appears several times in ancient Greek literature. However, each such reference acquires special significance depending on the field from which it originates. Most of the information found in mythology, but the suicide in a mythological tale, although in terms of motivation and mental situation of heroes may be in imitation of similar incidents of real life, in fact is linked with the principles of the ancient Greek religion. In ancient drama and mainly in tragedies suicide conduces to the tragic hypostasis of the heroes and to the evolution of the plot and also is a tool in order to be presented the ideas of poets for the relations of the gods, the relation among gods and men and the relation among the men. In ancient Greek philosophy there were the deniers of suicide, who were more concerned about the impact of suicide on society and also these who accepted it, recognizing the right of the individual to put an end to his life, in order to avoid personal misfortunes. Real suicides will be found mostly from historical sources, but most of them concern leading figures of the ancient world. Closer to the problem of suicide in the everyday life of antiquity are ancient Greek medicines, who studied the phenomenon more general without references to specific incidents. Doctors did not approve in principal the suicide and dealt with it as insane behavior in the development of the mental diseases, of melancholia and mania. They considered that the discrepancy of humors in the organ of logic in the human body will cause malfunction, which will lead to the absurdity and consequently to suicide, either due to excessive concentration of black bile in melancholia or due to yellow bile in mania. They believed that greater risk to commit suicide had women, young people and the elderly. As therapy they used the drugs of their time with the intention to induce calm and repression in the ill person, therefore they mainly used mandragora. In general, we would say

  15. Climate and Ancient Societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Climate, and human responses to it, have a strongly interconnected relationship. This when climate change occurs, the result of either natural or human causes, societies should react and adapt to these. But do they? If so, what is the nature of that change, and are the responses positive...... or negative for the long-term survival of social groups? In this volume, scholars from diverse disciplines including archaeology, geology and climate sciences explore scientific and material evidence for climate changes in the past, their causes, their effects on ancient societies and how those societies...

  16. Urology in ancient India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakti Das

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The practice of medical and surgical measures in the management of urological ailments prevailed in ancient India from the Vedic era around 3000 BC. Subsequently in the Samhita period, the two stalwarts - Charaka in medicine and Susruta in surgery elevated the art of medicine in India to unprecedented heights. Their elaboration of the etiopathological hypothesis and the medical and surgical treatments of various urological disorders of unparalleled ingenuity still remain valid to some extent in our contemporary understanding. The new generation of accomplished Indian urologists should humbly venerate the legacy of the illustrious pioneers in urology of our motherland.

  17. [Sexuality in Ancient Egypt].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Androutsos, G; Marketos, S

    1994-10-01

    The present article explores the sexuality in ancient Egypt. In particular in this article are presented the ways of concubinage (marriage, concubinage, adultery), the incest, loves of the pharaohs and of the common people, the freedom of choice in garments, the status of the hetairas and of the whores, the sexual perversions (male and female homosexuality, necrophilia, sodomism, bestiality, rape, masturbation, exhibitionism), the operations of the genitals (circumcision, excision, castration) and finally the level of knowledge in gynaecology, fertility, contraception and obstetrics that even today demands our admiration.

  18. Obscuring the ancient artifacts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tugrul, B.

    1987-01-01

    Radiography is a non-destructive method which is preferable for ancient artifacts. X-rays, gama rays, beta rays and neutrons can be used for radiography. Differences of them and application materials can be different. In this study, the radiographic techniques are determined with application parameters according to materials of the artifacts, and some interesting examples are given. Therefore, investigation of the artifacts can be realized for definition of physical properties, manufacturing techniques and quality controls of them easily by the application of the radiography. (author)

  19. Mathematics in ancient Greece

    CERN Document Server

    Dantzig, Tobias

    2006-01-01

    More than a history of mathematics, this lively book traces mathematical ideas and processes to their sources, stressing the methods used by the masters of the ancient world. Author Tobias Dantzig portrays the human story behind mathematics, showing how flashes of insight in the minds of certain gifted individuals helped mathematics take enormous forward strides. Dantzig demonstrates how the Greeks organized their precursors' melange of geometric maxims into an elegantly abstract deductive system. He also explains the ways in which some of the famous mathematical brainteasers of antiquity led

  20. A new method for examining hominin dietary strategy: occlusal microwear vector analysis of the Sangiran 7 Homo erectus molars

    OpenAIRE

    Tausch, Jeremy

    2012-01-01

    Many hominin species are best physically represented and understood by the sum of their dental morphologies. Generally, taxonomic affinities and evolutionary trends in development (ontogeny) and morphology (phylogeny) can be deduced from dental analyses. More specifically, the study of dental remains can yield a wealth of information on many facets of hominin evolution, life history, physiology and ecological adaptation; in short, the organisms paleobiomics. Functionally, teeth present inform...

  1. Megadontia, striae periodicity and patterns of enamel secretion in Plio-Pleistocene fossil hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Dean, M Christopher; Ramirez-Rozzi, Fernando; Bromage, Timothy G

    2008-08-01

    Early hominins formed large and thick-enamelled cheek-teeth within relatively short growth periods as compared with modern humans. To understand better the developmental basis of this process, we measured daily enamel increments, or cross striations, in 17 molars of Plio-Pleistocene hominins representing seven different species, including specimens attributed to early Homo. Our results show considerable variation across species, although all specimens conformed to the known pattern characterised by greater values in outer than inner enamel, and greater cuspal than cervical values. We then compared our results with the megadontia index, which represents tooth size in relation to body mass, for each species to assess the effect of daily growth rates on tooth size. Our results indicate that larger toothed (megadont) taxa display higher rates or faster forming enamel than smaller toothed hominins. By forming enamel quickly, large tooth crowns were able to develop within the constraints of shorter growth periods. Besides daily increments, many animals express long-period markings (striae of Retzius) in their enamel. We report periodicity values (number of cross striations between adjacent striae) in 14 new specimens of Australopithecus afarensis, Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus, and show that long-period striae express a strong association with male and average male-female body mass. Our results for Plio-Pleistocene hominins show that the biological rhythms that give rise to long-period striae are encompassed within the range of variation known for modern humans, but show a lower mean and modal value of 7 days in australopithecines. In our sample of early Homo, mean and modal periodicity values were 8 days, and therefore similar to modern humans. These new data on daily rates of enamel formation and periodicity provide a better framework to interpret surface manifestations of internal growth markings on

  2. The bony labyrinth of the middle Pleistocene Sima de los Huesos hominins (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quam, Rolf; Lorenzo, Carlos; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2016-01-01

    We performed 3D virtual reconstructions based on CT scans to study the bony labyrinth morphology in 14 individuals from the large middle Pleistocene hominin sample from the site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins represent early members of the Neandertal clade and provide an opportunity to compare the data with the later in time Neandertals, as well as Pleistocene and recent humans more broadly. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins do not differ from the Neandertals in any of the variables related to the absolute and relative sizes and shape of the semicircular canals. Indeed, the entire Neandertal clade seems to be characterized by a derived pattern of canal proportions, including a relatively small posterior canal and a relatively large lateral canal. In contrast, one of the most distinctive features observed in Neandertals, the low placement of the posterior canal (i.e., high sagittal labyrinthine index), is generally not present in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins. This low placement is considered a derived feature in Neandertals and is correlated with a more vertical orientation of the ampullar line (LSCm  PPp), and third part of the facial canal (LSCm < FC3). Some variation is present within the Atapuerca (SH) sample, however, with a few individuals approaching the Neandertal condition more closely. In addition, the cochlear shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins is low, indicating a reduction in the height of the cochlea. Although the phylogenetic polarity of this feature is less clear, the low shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins may be a derived feature. Regardless, cochlear height subsequently increased in Neandertals. In contrast to previous suggestions, the expanded data in the present study indicate no difference across the genus Homo in the angle of inclination of the cochlear basal turn (COs < LSCm). Principal components analysis largely confirms these observations. While not

  3. Influence of Plio-Pleistocene basin hydrology on the Turkana hominin enamel carbonate δ(18)O values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Rhonda L

    2015-09-01

    Stable oxygen isotopes of hominin enamel carbonate (δ(18)OEC) provide a window into aspects of past drinking behavior and diet, body size, breastfeeding and weaning, mobility, and paleoclimate. It is tempting to compare all hominins across time and space in order to gauge species-level adaptations to changing environments and niche separation between those living sympatrically. Basinal, sub-basinal, and micro-environmental differences, however, may exert an influence on variation in enamel carbonate isotopic values that must be reconciled before hominin species across Africa can be meaningfully compared. Plio-Pleistocene Turkana hominin δ(18)OEC values show a considerable spread, potentially revealing many intrinsic and extrinsic contributing factors operating on different scales. In this study, I examine Turkana hominin δ(18)OEC values relative to identity (taxon, tooth type and number, body size of taxon), dietary (δ(13)C value, Turkana coeval and modern mammalian δ(18)OEC values), and contextual (time, depositional environment) information of each specimen and collection locality and discuss various potential influences. Turkana hominin δ(18)OEC values may primarily reflect differences in imbibed water sources (lake vs. river) as a function of evolving basin hydrology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Ancient celtic horns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Murray

    2002-11-01

    There is considerable evidence from iconographic and documentary sources that musical lip-reed instruments were important in the early celtic communities of Scotland and Ireland. In recent years several studies have been undertaken with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the musical nature of these ancient horns, and of their place in the life and culture of the time. A valuable source of tangible evidence is to be found in the archaeological remains deposited across Scotland and the whole of Ireland. A project is now under way, under the auspices of the Kilmartin House Trust and the general direction of John Purser, which has brought together an international team of musicians, craftsmen, archaeologists, musicologists and physicists with the aim of analyzing ancient musical artifacts, reconstructing some of the original instruments, and analyzing the sounds they produce. This paper describes acoustical studies carried out on a number of recent reconstructions of wooden and bronze instruments, and discusses the role of acoustics in this type of investigation. [Work supported by Sciart and EPSRC.

  5. Joint Estimation of Contamination, Error and Demography for Nuclear DNA from Ancient Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slatkin, Montgomery

    2016-01-01

    When sequencing an ancient DNA sample from a hominin fossil, DNA from present-day humans involved in excavation and extraction will be sequenced along with the endogenous material. This type of contamination is problematic for downstream analyses as it will introduce a bias towards the population of the contaminating individual(s). Quantifying the extent of contamination is a crucial step as it allows researchers to account for possible biases that may arise in downstream genetic analyses. Here, we present an MCMC algorithm to co-estimate the contamination rate, sequencing error rate and demographic parameters—including drift times and admixture rates—for an ancient nuclear genome obtained from human remains, when the putative contaminating DNA comes from present-day humans. We assume we have a large panel representing the putative contaminant population (e.g. European, East Asian or African). The method is implemented in a C++ program called ‘Demographic Inference with Contamination and Error’ (DICE). We applied it to simulations and genome data from ancient Neanderthals and modern humans. With reasonable levels of genome sequence coverage (>3X), we find we can recover accurate estimates of all these parameters, even when the contamination rate is as high as 50%. PMID:27049965

  6. Exploring Ancient Skies A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, David H

    2011-01-01

    Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers—events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Explori...

  7. Comparative morphological and morphometric description of the hominin calvaria from Bukuran (Sangiran, Central Java, Indonesia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique; Widianto, Harry; Détroit, Florent; Sémah, François

    2012-11-01

    We describe the hominin skull (called here "Bukuran") discovered in the lower Kabuh (or "Bapang") series near Sendangbusik, from the Bukuran area in the Sangiran dome. The fossil, heavily mineralized, consists of the parieto-occipital and the left temporal, and the frontal bones. When combined, those two cranial parts represent a rather complete and well-preserved calvaria. Its stratigraphic position was established after the discovery. A detailed description is presented of the morphological and metric features of the Bukuran calvaria, and comparisons are made with Asian Homo erectus from Indonesia and China. The estimated cranial capacity of Bukuran, the general shape of its cranial vault, its ectocranial structures, and its morphological and metrical characters are in the range of Asian Homo erectus, and show clear affinities with other Indonesian members of the species. We discuss the evolutionary status of the Bukuran calvaria and its implication for hominin history on Java. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Morphological affinities of Homo naledi with other Plio-Pleistocene hominins: a phenetic approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WALTER A. NEVES

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Recent fossil material found in Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, was initially described as a new species of genus Homo, namely Homo naledi. The original study of this new material has pointed to a close proximity with Homo erectus. More recent investigations have, to some extent, confirmed this assignment. Here we present a phenetic analysis based on dentocranial metric variables through Principal Components Analysis and Cluster Analysis based on these fossils and other Plio-Pleistocene hominins. Our results concur that the Dinaledi fossil hominins pertain to genus Homo. However, in our case, their nearest neighbors are Homo habilis and Australopithecus sediba. We suggest that Homo naledi is in fact a South African version of Homo habilis, and not a new species. This can also be applied to Australopithecus sediba.

  9. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malliya Gounder Palanichamy

    Full Text Available Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade.

  10. Tamil Merchant in Ancient Mesopotamia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanichamy, Malliya gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade. PMID:25299580

  11. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanichamy, Malliya Gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade.

  12. Australopithecus anamensis: a finite-element approach to studying the functional adaptations of extinct hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macho, Gabriele A; Shimizu, Daisuke; Jiang, Yong; Spears, Iain R

    2005-04-01

    Australopithecus anamensis is the stem species of all later hominins and exhibits the suite of characters traditionally associated with hominins, i.e., bipedal locomotion when on the ground, canine reduction, and thick-enameled teeth. The functional consequences of its thick enamel are, however, unclear. Without appropriate structural reinforcement, these thick-enameled teeth may be prone to failure. This article investigates the mechanical behavior of A. anamensis enamel and represents the first in a series that will attempt to determine the functional adaptations of hominin teeth. First, the microstructural arrangement of enamel prisms in A. anamensis teeth was reconstructed using recently developed software and was compared with that of extant hominoids. Second, a finite-element model of a block of enamel containing one cycle of prism deviation was reconstructed for Homo, Pan, Gorilla, and A. anamensis and the behavior of these tissues under compressive stress was determined. Despite similarities in enamel microstructure between A. anamensis and the African great apes, the structural arrangement of prismatic enamel in A. anamensis appears to be more effective in load dissipation under these compressive loads. The findings may imply that this hominin species was well adapted to puncture crushing and are in some respects contrary to expectations based on macromorphology of teeth. Taking together, information obtained from both finite-element analyses and dental macroanatomy leads us to suggest that A. anamensis was probably adapted for habitually consuming a hard-tough diet. However, additional tests are needed to understand the functional adaptations of A. anamensis teeth fully.

  13. Body mass estimates of hominin fossils and the evolution of human body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G; Jungers, William L; Richmond, Brian G

    2015-08-01

    Body size directly influences an animal's place in the natural world, including its energy requirements, home range size, relative brain size, locomotion, diet, life history, and behavior. Thus, an understanding of the biology of extinct organisms, including species in our own lineage, requires accurate estimates of body size. Since the last major review of hominin body size based on postcranial morphology over 20 years ago, new fossils have been discovered, species attributions have been clarified, and methods improved. Here, we present the most comprehensive and thoroughly vetted set of individual fossil hominin body mass predictions to date, and estimation equations based on a large (n = 220) sample of modern humans of known body masses. We also present species averages based exclusively on fossils with reliable taxonomic attributions, estimates of species averages by sex, and a metric for levels of sexual dimorphism. Finally, we identify individual traits that appear to be the most reliable for mass estimation for each fossil species, for use when only one measurement is available for a fossil. Our results show that many early hominins were generally smaller-bodied than previously thought, an outcome likely due to larger estimates in previous studies resulting from the use of large-bodied modern human reference samples. Current evidence indicates that modern human-like large size first appeared by at least 3-3.5 Ma in some Australopithecus afarensis individuals. Our results challenge an evolutionary model arguing that body size increased from Australopithecus to early Homo. Instead, we show that there is no reliable evidence that the body size of non-erectus early Homo differed from that of australopiths, and confirm that Homo erectus evolved larger average body size than earlier hominins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Taxonomic identification of Lower Pleistocene fossil hominins based on distal humeral diaphyseal cross-sectional shape

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    Michael R. Lague

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The coexistence of multiple hominin species during the Lower Pleistocene has long presented a challenge for taxonomic attribution of isolated postcrania. Although fossil humeri are well-suited for studies of hominin postcranial variation due to their relative abundance, humeral articular morphology has thus far been of limited value for differentiating Paranthropus from Homo. On the other hand, distal humeral diaphyseal shape has been used to justify such generic distinctions at Swartkrans. The potential utility of humeral diaphyseal shape merits larger-scale quantitative analysis, particularly as it permits the inclusion of fragmentary specimens lacking articular morphology. This study analyzes shape variation of the distal humeral diaphysis among fossil hominins (c. 2-1 Ma to test the hypothesis that specimens can be divided into distinct morphotypes. Coordinate landmarks were placed on 3D laser scans to quantify cross-sectional shape at a standardized location of the humeral diaphysis (proximal to the olecranon fossa for a variety of fossil hominins and extant hominids. The fossil sample includes specimens attributed to species based on associated craniodental remains. Mantel tests of matrix correlation were used to assess hypotheses about morphometric relationships among the fossils by comparing empirically-derived Procrustes distance matrices to hypothetical model matrices. Diaphyseal shape variation is consistent with the hypothesis of three distinct morphotypes (Paranthropus, Homo erectus, non-erectus early Homo in both eastern and southern Africa during the observed time period. Specimens attributed to non-erectus early Homo are unique among hominids with respect to the degree of relative anteroposterior flattening, while H. erectus humeri exhibit morphology more similar to that of modern humans. In both geographic regions, Paranthropus is characterized by a morphology that is intermediate with respect to those morphological features

  15. Environmental change and hominin exploitation of C4-based resources in wetland/savanna mosaics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Kathlyn M

    2014-12-01

    Eastern and southern Africa experienced ongoing climatic and tectonic instability in the Plio-Pleistocene, alongside declining forests and expanding grasslands. Most known hominin genera (Australopithecus spp., Kenyanthropus, Paranthropus spp., Homo spp.) appear roughly between 4.2 and 1.8 Ma (millions of years ago). Explanations for these speciation events have focused on adaptations to environmental change, particularly in terrestrial biomes. However, the links between environmental change and hominin adaptations have not always been clear. Often overlooked is that Plio-Pleistocene vegetation included not just terrestrial environments, but a large component of edaphic (wet) C4 grasses and sedges. In this paper it is suggested that in response to environmental fluctuations, hominins engaged in conservative long-term ecological and dietary patterns, based on predictable C4/C3 wetland and terrestrial resources. Data are presented from six hominin locales, which demonstrate reliance on plant-based resources (sedges, grasses, and other vegetation) in C4-inclusive wetland/savanna mosaics. After roughly 2.4 Ma, severe climate variability is associated with early Homo and perhaps Paranthropus boisei broadening their diet to familiar but less preferred foods: vertebrates and invertebrates. These foods consistently provided early Homo with essential nutrients, which reduced selection pressures and allowed for increases in brain size. After 1.65 Ma, a 20% increase in the C4 dietary component of Homo occurs alongside increased relative brain size. P. boisei also increases its C4 dietary component by 15% after 1.65 Ma. These increases imply that both taxa continued to broaden their diet within the C4-based wetlands/savanna biome, with Homo putting a greater emphasis on mammals. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Experimental perspective on fallback foods and dietary adaptations in early hominins

    OpenAIRE

    Scott, Jeremiah E.; McAbee, Kevin R.; Eastman, Meghan M.; Ravosa, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    The robust jaws and large, thick-enameled molars of the Plio–Pleistocene hominins Australopithecus and Paranthropus have long been interpreted as adaptations for hard-object feeding. Recent studies of dental microwear indicate that only Paranthropus robustus regularly ate hard items, suggesting that the dentognathic anatomy of other australopiths reflects rare, seasonal exploitation of hard fallback foods. Here, we show that hard-object feeding cannot explain the extreme morphology of Paranth...

  17. Lucy's Flat Feet: The Relationship between the Ankle and Rearfoot Arching in Early Hominins

    OpenAIRE

    DeSilva, Jeremy M.; Throckmorton, Zachary J.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In the Plio-Pleistocene, the hominin foot evolved from a grasping appendage to a stiff, propulsive lever. Central to this transition was the development of the longitudinal arch, a structure that helps store elastic energy and stiffen the foot during bipedal locomotion. Direct evidence for arch evolution, however, has been somewhat elusive given the failure of soft-tissue to fossilize. Paleoanthropologists have relied on footprints and bony correlates of arch development, though l...

  18. Hydrodynamic disperser

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bulatov, A.I.; Chernov, V.S.; Prokopov, L.I.; Proselkov, Yu.M.; Tikhonov, Yu.P.

    1980-01-15

    A hydrodynamic disperser is suggested which contains a housing, slit nozzles installed on a circular base arranged opposite from each other, resonators secured opposite the nozzle and outlet sleeve. In order to improve the effectiveness of dispersion by throttling the flow, each resonator is made in the form of a crimped plate with crimpings that decrease in height in a direction towards the nozzle.

  19. Microtomographic archive of fossil hominin specimens from Kromdraai B, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Matthew M; Kivell, Tracy L; Potze, Stephany; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2013-05-01

    The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History (DNMNH) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) established a collaboration in 2010 to scan fossil hominin specimens housed at DNMNH using microtomography (microCT). The goal of this collaboration is to facilitate research and create a 'virtual copy' of the fossils for the DNMNH records. Within the context of this ongoing collaboration, the focus of this contribution is the fossil hominin material from the site of Kromdraai B, South Africa. The goals are to 1) formally publish the microCT scans of the Kromdraai material and facilitate their availability to the scientific research community, 2) address uncertainties regarding specimen accession numbers, 3) highlight internal aspects of anatomy revealed through the microCT scans, and 4) clarify the hominin status of a number of postcranial specimens. Finally, 2D images of surface models, a 3D PDF surface model, a movie of each microCT volume, and the original microCT volume of each specimen are made available via an open access online archive (http://paleo.eva.mpg.de). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Neck function in early hominins and suspensory primates: Insights from the uncinate process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Marc R; Woodward, Charles; Tims, Amy; Bastir, Markus

    2018-02-28

    Uncinate processes are protuberances on the cranial surface of subaxial cervical vertebrae that assist in stabilizing and guiding spinal motion. Shallow uncinate processes reduce cervical stability but confer an increased range of motion in clinical studies. Here we assess uncinate processes among extant primates and model cervical kinematics in early fossil hominins. We compare six fossil hominin vertebrae with 48 Homo sapiens and 99 nonhuman primates across 20 genera. We quantify uncinate morphology via geometric morphometric methods to understand how uncinate process shape relates to allometry, taxonomy, and mode of locomotion. Across primates, allometry explains roughly 50% of shape variation, as small, narrow vertebrae feature the relatively tallest, most pronounced uncinate processes, whereas larger, wider vertebrae typically feature reduced uncinates. Taxonomy only weakly explains the residual variation, however, the association between Uncinate Shape and mode of locomotion is robust, as bipeds and suspensory primates occupy opposite extremes of the morphological continuum and are distinguished from arboreal generalists. Like humans, Australopithecus afarensis and Homo erectus exhibit shallow uncinate processes, whereas A. sediba resembles more arboreal taxa, but not fully suspensory primates. Suspensory primates exhibit the most pronounced uncinates, likely to maintain visual field stabilization. East African hominins exhibit reduced uncinate processes compared with African apes and A. sediba, likely signaling different degrees of neck motility and modes of locomotion. Although soft tissues constrain neck flexibility beyond limits suggested by osteology alone, this study may assist in modeling cervical kinematics and positional behaviors in extinct taxa. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Multiphase timing of hominin occupations and the paleoenvironment in Luonan Basin, Central China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Huayu; Zhang, Hongyan; Wang, Shejiang; Cosgrove, Richard; Sun, Xuefeng; Zhao, Jun; Sun, Donghuai; Zhao, Cunfa; Shen, Chen; Wei, Ming

    Thousands of Paleolithic artifacts have been recovered from Paleolithic sites in the Luonan Basin, in the upper South Luohe River of central China. Their discovery suggests that the basin was an important area for hominin settlement during the Pleistocene. However, the initial timing of this occupation and the environmental conditions for this period are still largely unknown. In addition, the sediments are not well dated and most of the artifacts lie on the surface. In an attempt to resolve these issues, a new systemic paleomagnetic analysis was carried out on the loess deposits that contain in situ stone tools. Our detailed loess-paleosol analyses of the stratigraphy of different sites in the basin and Chinese Loess Plateau shows the accumulation of the loess since at least 1.1 million years (Ma) ago. Moreover, recently discovered in situ cores, flakes and retouched stone tools in these deposits show that hominins used this region repeatedly from 0.8-0.7 Ma to 0.4-0.3 and 0.2-0.1 Ma. Pedostratigraphic analyses, magnetic susceptibility and carbon isotope analyses also indicate that these hominins lived in a subtropical to warm-temperate climate with broad-needle-leaf forest vegetation mixed with grasses.

  2. First early hominin from central Africa (Ishango, Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Crevecoeur

    Full Text Available Despite uncontested evidence for fossils belonging to the early hominin genus Australopithecus in East Africa from at least 4.2 million years ago (Ma, and from Chad by 3.5 Ma, thus far there has been no convincing evidence of Australopithecus, Paranthropus or early Homo from the western (Albertine branch of the Rift Valley. Here we report the discovery of an isolated upper molar (#Ish25 from the Western Rift Valley site of Ishango in Central Africa in a derived context, overlying beds dated to between ca. 2.6 to 2.0 Ma. We used µCT imaging to compare its external and internal macro-morphology to upper molars of australopiths, and fossil and recent Homo. We show that the size and shape of the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ surface discriminate between Plio-Pleistocene and post-Lower Pleistocene hominins, and that the Ishango molar clusters with australopiths and early Homo from East and southern Africa. A reassessment of the archaeological context of the specimen is consistent with the morphological evidence and suggest that early hominins were occupying this region by at least 2 Ma.

  3. Stable isotopes in fossil hominin tooth enamel suggest a fundamental dietary shift in the Pliocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee-Thorp, Julia A; Sponheimer, Matt; Passey, Benjamin H; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Cerling, Thure E

    2010-10-27

    Accumulating isotopic evidence from fossil hominin tooth enamel has provided unexpected insights into early hominin dietary ecology. Among the South African australopiths, these data demonstrate significant contributions to the diet of carbon originally fixed by C(4) photosynthesis, consisting of C(4) tropical/savannah grasses and certain sedges, and/or animals eating C(4) foods. Moreover, high-resolution analysis of tooth enamel reveals strong intra-tooth variability in many cases, suggesting seasonal-scale dietary shifts. This pattern is quite unlike that seen in any great apes, even 'savannah' chimpanzees. The overall proportions of C(4) input persisted for well over a million years, even while environments shifted from relatively closed (ca 3 Ma) to open conditions after ca 1.8 Ma. Data from East Africa suggest a more extreme scenario, where results for Paranthropus boisei indicate a diet dominated (approx. 80%) by C(4) plants, in spite of indications from their powerful 'nutcracker' morphology for diets of hard objects. We argue that such evidence for engagement with C(4) food resources may mark a fundamental transition in the evolution of hominin lineages, and that the pattern had antecedents prior to the emergence of Australopithecus africanus. Since new isotopic evidence from Aramis suggests that it was not present in Ardipithecus ramidus at 4.4 Ma, we suggest that the origins lie in the period between 3 and 4 Myr ago.

  4. Dental microwear texture analysis of hominins recovered by the Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project, 1995-2007.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ungar, Peter S; Krueger, Kristin L; Blumenschine, Robert J; Njau, Jackson; Scott, Robert S

    2012-08-01

    Dental microwear analysis has proven to be a valuable tool for the reconstruction of aspects of diet in early hominins. That said, sample sizes for some groups are small, decreasing our confidence that results are representative of a given taxon and making it difficult to assess within-species variation. Here we present microwear texture data for several new specimens of Homo habilis and Paranthropus boisei from Olduvai Gorge, bringing sample sizes for these species in line with those published for most other early hominins. These data are added to those published to date, and microwear textures of the enlarged sample of H. habilis (n = 10) and P. boisei (n = 9) are compared with one another and with those of other early hominins. New results confirm that P. boisei does not have microwear patterns expected of a hard-object specialist. Further, the separate texture complexity analyses of early Homo species suggest that Homo erectus ate a broader range of foods, at least in terms of hardness, than did H. habilis, P. boisei, or the "gracile" australopiths studied. Finally, differences in scale of maximum complexity and perhaps textural fill volume between H. habilis and H. erectus are noted, suggesting further possible differences between these species in diet. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Isotopic evidence for an early shift to C₄ resources by Pliocene hominins in Chad.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee-Thorp, Julia; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassane T; Vignaud, Patrick; Sponheimer, Matt; Brunet, Michel

    2012-12-11

    Foods derived from C(4) plants were important in the dietary ecology of early Pleistocene hominins in southern and eastern Africa, but the origins and geographic variability of this relationship remain unknown. Carbon isotope data show that Australopithecus bahrelghazali individuals from Koro Toro in Chad are significantly enriched in (13)C, indicating a dependence on C(4) resources. As these sites are over 3 million years in age, the results extend the pattern of C(4) dependence seen in Paranthropus boisei in East Africa by more than 1.5 million years. The Koro Toro hominin fossils were found in argillaceous sandstone levels along with abundant grazing and aquatic faunal elements that, in combination, indicate the presence of open to wooded grasslands and stream channels associated with a greatly enlarged Lake Chad. In such an environment, the most abundant C(4) plant resources available to A. bahrelghazali were grasses and sedges, neither of which is usually considered as standard great ape fare. The results suggest an early and fundamental shift in hominin dietary ecology that facilitated the exploitation of new habitats.

  6. Isotopic evidence for an early shift to C4 resources by Pliocene hominins in Chad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee-Thorp, Julia; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassane T.; Vignaud, Patrick; Sponheimer, Matt; Brunet, Michel

    2012-01-01

    Foods derived from C4 plants were important in the dietary ecology of early Pleistocene hominins in southern and eastern Africa, but the origins and geographic variability of this relationship remain unknown. Carbon isotope data show that Australopithecus bahrelghazali individuals from Koro Toro in Chad are significantly enriched in 13C, indicating a dependence on C4 resources. As these sites are over 3 million years in age, the results extend the pattern of C4 dependence seen in Paranthropus boisei in East Africa by more than 1.5 million years. The Koro Toro hominin fossils were found in argillaceous sandstone levels along with abundant grazing and aquatic faunal elements that, in combination, indicate the presence of open to wooded grasslands and stream channels associated with a greatly enlarged Lake Chad. In such an environment, the most abundant C4 plant resources available to A. bahrelghazali were grasses and sedges, neither of which is usually considered as standard great ape fare. The results suggest an early and fundamental shift in hominin dietary ecology that facilitated the exploitation of new habitats. PMID:23150583

  7. DNH 109: A fragmentary hominin near-proximal ulna from Drimolen, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Gallagher

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We describe a fragmentary, yet significant, diminutive proximal ulna (DNH 109 from the Lower Pleistocene deposits of Drimolen, Republic of South Africa. On the basis of observable morphology and available comparative metrics, DNH 109 is definitively hominin and is the smallest African Plio-Pleistocene australopith ulna yet recovered. Mediolateral and anteroposterior dimensions of the proximal diaphysis immediately distal to the m. brachialis sulcus in DNH 109 yield an elliptical area (π/4 *m-l*a-p that is smaller than the A.L. 333-38 Australopithecus afarensis subadult from Hadar. Given the unusually broad mediolateral/anteroposterior diaphyseal proportions distal to the brachialis sulcus, the osseous development of the medial and lateral borders of the sulcus, and the overall size of the specimen relative to comparative infant, juvenile, subadult and adult comparative hominid ulnae (Gorilla, Pan and Homo, it is probable that DNH 109 samples an australopith of probable juvenile age at death. As a result of the fragmentary state of preservation and absence of association with taxonomically diagnostic craniodental remains, DNH 109 cannot be provisionally assigned to any particular hominin genus (Paranthropus or Homo at present. Nonetheless, DNH 109 increases our known sample of available Plio-Pleistocene subadult early hominin postcrania.

  8. Hominin raw material procurement in the Oldowan-Acheulean transition at Olduvai Gorge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHenry, Lindsay J; de la Torre, Ignacio

    2018-01-10

    The lithic assemblages at the Oldowan-Acheulean transition in Bed II of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, represent a wide variety of raw materials reflecting both the diversity of volcanic, metamorphic, and sedimentary source materials available in the Olduvai basin and surroundings and the preferences of the tool-makers. A geochemical and petrographic systematic analysis of lava-derived archaeological stone tools, combined with textural and mineralogical characterization of quartzite, chert, and other metamorphic and sedimentary raw materials from two Middle and Upper Bed II sites, has enabled us to produce a comprehensive dataset and characterization of the rocks employed by Olduvai hominins, which is used here to establish a referential framework for future studies on Early Stone Age raw material provenancing. The use of rounded blanks for most lava-derived artifacts demonstrates that hominins were accessing lava in local stream channels. Most quartzite artifacts appear to derive from angular blocks, likely acquired at the source (predominantly Naibor Soit hill), though some do appear to be manufactured from stream-transported quartzite blanks. Raw material composition of the EF-HR assemblage indicates that Acheulean hominins selected high-quality lavas for the production of Large Cutting Tools. On the other hand, the HWK EE lithic assemblage suggests that raw material selectivity was not entirely based on rock texture, and other factors, such as blank shape and availability of natural angles suitable for flaking, played a major role in Oldowan reduction sequences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Ancient Chinese Sundials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Kehui

    Timekeeping was essential in the agricultural society of ancient China. The use of sundials for timekeeping was associated with the use of the gnomon, which had its origin in remote antiquity. This chapter studies three sundials (guiyi 晷仪) from the Qin and Han dynasties, the shorter shadow plane sundial (duanying ping yi 短影平仪) invented by Yuan Chong in the Sui Dynasty, and the sundial chart (guiyingtu 晷影图) invented by Zeng Minxing in the Southern Song dynasty. This chapter also introduces Guo Shoujing's hemispherical sundial (yang yi 仰仪). A circular stone sundial discovered at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an is also mentioned. It is dated from the Sui and Tang dynasties. A brief survey of sundials from the Qing dynasty shows various types of sundials.

  10. Ancient Greek new music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Žužek

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article I use a contextual approach to questions about the revolutionary »new music« in ancient Greece. This view is different from the nowadays most common formalistk view. Rather than analyze textual sources stylistically, I will try to present the available lata in the context of the structure and events of the Athenian society at a tirne when a wave of »new« poetics appeared. In the following discussion it is argued that the »new music« and the phenomena of the destruction of mousiké connected with it are not an esthetical novum, but more a consequence of the change of the discursive practice, where a musical poetry became less important and needless.

  11. Characterization of Ancient Tripitaka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. X. Gong

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Tripitaka is the world’s most comprehensive version of Buddhist sutra. There are limited numbers of Tripitaka currently preserved, most of them present various patterns of degradation. As little is known about the materials and crafts used in Tripitaka, it appeared necessary to identify them, and to further define adapted conservation treatment. In this work, a study concerning the paper source and dyestuff of the Tripitaka from approximate 16th century was carried out using fiber analysis and thin-layer chromatography (TLC. The results proved that the papers were mainly made from hemp or bark of mulberry tree, and indigo was used for colorizing the paper. At the end, we provide with suggestions for protecting and restoring the ancient Tripitaka.

  12. Analysis of ancient silver coins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flament, Christophe; Marchetti, Patrick

    2004-01-01

    Writing from the numismatist point of view, the authors open this paper by reviewing critically the use of scientific methods for the studies of ancient coins. They also report about an application of the PIXE method at low incident proton energy to one of the most celebrated and known coinage in the ancient history: the Athenian silver coins of the fifth century BC. The results of those analyses indicate that the metallic composition of several coins usually taken as ancient imitations of Athenian coins does not differ from that of the genuine ones. Those analyses confirm what the authors have inferred from numismatic sources: These coins are probably genuinely Athenian

  13. Dispersion Forces

    CERN Document Server

    Buhmann, Stefan Yoshi

    2012-01-01

    In this book, a modern unified theory of dispersion forces on atoms and bodies is presented which covers a broad range of advanced aspects and scenarios. Macroscopic quantum electrodynamics is shown to provide a powerful framework for dispersion forces which allows for discussing general properties like their non-additivity and the relation between microscopic and macroscopic interactions. It is demonstrated how the general results can be used to obtain dispersion forces on atoms in the presence of bodies of various shapes and materials. Starting with a brief recapitulation of volume I, this volume II deals especially with bodies of irregular shapes, universal scaling laws, dynamical forces on excited atoms, enhanced forces in cavity quantum electrodynamics, non-equilibrium forces in thermal environments and quantum friction. The book gives both the specialist and those new to the field a thorough overview over recent results in the field. It provides a toolbox for studying dispersion forces in various contex...

  14. Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirks, Paul HGM; Berger, Lee R; Roberts, Eric M; Kramers, Jan D; Hawks, John; Randolph-Quinney, Patrick S; Elliott, Marina; Musiba, Charles M; Churchill, Steven E; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Schmid, Peter; Backwell, Lucinda R; Belyanin, Georgy A; Boshoff, Pedro; Hunter, K Lindsay; Feuerriegel, Elen M; Gurtov, Alia; Harrison, James du G; Hunter, Rick; Kruger, Ashley; Morris, Hannah; Makhubela, Tebogo V; Peixotto, Becca; Tucker, Steven

    2015-01-01

    We describe the physical context of the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave, South Africa, which contains the fossils of Homo naledi. Approximately 1550 specimens of hominin remains have been recovered from at least 15 individuals, representing a small portion of the total fossil content. Macro-vertebrate fossils are exclusively H. naledi, and occur within clay-rich sediments derived from in situ weathering, and exogenous clay and silt, which entered the chamber through fractures that prevented passage of coarser-grained material. The chamber was always in the dark zone, and not accessible to non-hominins. Bone taphonomy indicates that hominin individuals reached the chamber complete, with disarticulation occurring during/after deposition. Hominins accumulated over time as older laminated mudstone units and sediment along the cave floor were eroded. Preliminary evidence is consistent with deliberate body disposal in a single location, by a hominin species other than Homo sapiens, at an as-yet unknown date. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09561.001 PMID:26354289

  15. Ancient and Current Chaos Theories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güngör Gündüz

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Chaos theories developed in the last three decades have made very important contributions to our understanding of dynamical systems and natural phenomena. The meaning of chaos in the current theories and in the past is somewhat different from each other. In this work, the properties of dynamical systems and the evolution of chaotic systems were discussed in terms of the views of ancient philosophers. The meaning of chaos in Anaximenes’ philosophy and its role in the Ancient natural philosophy has been discussed in relation to other natural philosophers such as of Anaximander, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Leucippus (i.e. atomists and Aristotle. In addition, the fundamental concepts of statistical mechanics and the current chaos theories were discussed in relation to the views in Ancient natural philosophy. The roots of the scientific concepts such as randomness, autocatalysis, nonlinear growth, information, pattern, etc. in the Ancient natural philosophy were investigated.

  16. Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: A 500,000-year climate record from Chew Bahir, a key site in southern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Verena E.; Asrat, Asfawossen; Chapot, Melissa S.; Cohen, Andrew S.; Dean, Jonathan R.; Deino, Alan; Günter, Christina; Junginger, Annett; Lamb, Henry F.; Leng, Melanie J.; Roberts, Helen M.; Schaebitz, Frank; Trauth, Martin H.

    2017-04-01

    What is the environmental context of human evolution and dispersal? In order to evaluate the impact that different timescales and magnitude of climatic shifts have had on the living conditions of anatomically modern humans, the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) has cored five predominantly-lacustrine sequences to investigate climate change in East Africa (Cohen et al., 2016). The five high-priority areas in Ethiopia and Kenya are located in close proximity to key paleoanthropological sites covering various steps in evolution. One of the five cores is from Chew Bahir. Chew Bahir is a deep tectonically-bound basin in the southern Ethiopian rift, close to the Lower Omo valley, site of the earliest known fossil of anatomically modern humans. As part of the deep drilling initiative between ICDP-HSPDP and the Collaborative Research Center (CRC806), the Chew Bahir sedimentary deposits were cored in late 2014, yielding in two parallel cores reaching 280 m depth and which cover the last 550 ka of environmental history. We present the initial results of on-going lithologic and stratigraphic investigation of the composite core, the results of high resolution MSCL and XRF scanning data, as well as the first results of detailed multi-proxy analysis of the Chew Bahir cores. These analyses are based on more than 14,000 discrete subsamples. An initial chronology, based on Ar/Ar and OSL dating, allows the first reconstructions of dry-wet cycles during the last 550 ka. Both geochemical and sedimentological results show that the Chew Bahir deposits are sensitive recorders of changes in moisture, sediment influx, provenance, transport and diagenetic processes. The core records will allow tests of the various hypotheses regarding the impact of climate variability -from climate flickers to orbital driven transitions- on the evolution and dispersal of anatomically modern humans. References: Cohen, A. et al., 2016. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project

  17. Rethinking the dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groucutt, Huw S; Petraglia, Michael D; Bailey, Geoff; Scerri, Eleanor M L; Parton, Ash; Clark-Balzan, Laine; Jennings, Richard P; Lewis, Laura; Blinkhorn, James; Drake, Nick A; Breeze, Paul S; Inglis, Robyn H; Devès, Maud H; Meredith-Williams, Matthew; Boivin, Nicole; Thomas, Mark G; Scally, Aylwyn

    2015-01-01

    Current fossil, genetic, and archeological data indicate that Homo sapiens originated in Africa in the late Middle Pleistocene. By the end of the Late Pleistocene, our species was distributed across every continent except Antarctica, setting the foundations for the subsequent demographic and cultural changes of the Holocene. The intervening processes remain intensely debated and a key theme in hominin evolutionary studies. We review archeological, fossil, environmental, and genetic data to evaluate the current state of knowledge on the dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa. The emerging picture of the dispersal process suggests dynamic behavioral variability, complex interactions between populations, and an intricate genetic and cultural legacy. This evolutionary and historical complexity challenges simple narratives and suggests that hybrid models and the testing of explicit hypotheses are required to understand the expansion of Homo sapiens into Eurasia. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Did the ancient Egyptians migrate to ancient Nigeria?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jock M. Agai

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Literatures concerning the history of West African peoples published from 1900 to 1970 debate�the possible migrations of the Egyptians into West Africa. Writers like Samuel Johnson and�Lucas Olumide believe that the ancient Egyptians penetrated through ancient Nigeria but Leo�Frobenius and Geoffrey Parrinder frowned at this opinion. Using the works of these early�20th century writers of West African history together with a Yoruba legend which teaches�about the origin of their earliest ancestor(s, this researcher investigates the theories that the�ancient Egyptians had contact with the ancient Nigerians and particularly with the Yorubas.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: There is an existing ideology�amongst the Yorubas and other writers of Yoruba history that the original ancestors of�the Yorubas originated in ancient Egypt hence there was migration between Egypt and�Yorubaland. This researcher contends that even if there was migration between Egypt and�Nigeria, such migration did not take place during the predynastic and dynastic period as�speculated by some scholars. The subject is open for further research.

  19. Shared Pattern of Endocranial Shape Asymmetries among Great Apes, Anatomically Modern Humans, and Fossil Hominins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzeau, Antoine; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique

    2012-01-01

    Anatomical asymmetries of the human brain are a topic of major interest because of their link with handedness and cognitive functions. Their emergence and occurrence have been extensively explored in human fossil records to document the evolution of brain capacities and behaviour. We quantified for the first time antero-posterior endocranial shape asymmetries in large samples of great apes, modern humans and fossil hominins through analysis of “virtual” 3D models of skull and endocranial cavity and we statistically test for departures from symmetry. Once based on continuous variables, we show that the analysis of these brain asymmetries gives original results that build upon previous analysis based on discrete traits. In particular, it emerges that the degree of petalial asymmetries differs between great apes and hominins without modification of their pattern. We indeed demonstrate the presence of shape asymmetries in great apes, with a pattern similar to modern humans but with a lower variation and a lower degree of fluctuating asymmetry. More importantly, variations in the position of the frontal and occipital poles on the right and left hemispheres would be expected to show some degree of antisymmetry when population distribution is considered, but the observed pattern of variation among the samples is related to fluctuating asymmetry for most of the components of the petalias. Moreover, the presence of a common pattern of significant directional asymmetry for two components of the petalias in hominids implicates that the observed traits were probably inherited from the last common ancestor of extant African great apes and Homo sapiens. These results also have important implications for the possible relationships between endocranial shape asymmetries and functional capacities in hominins. It emphasizes the uncoupling between lateralized activities, some of them well probably distinctive to Homo, and large-scale cerebral lateralization itself, which is not

  20. Metopic suture of Taung (Australopithecus africanus) and its implications for hominin brain evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Dean; Zollikofer, Christoph P. E.; Morimoto, Naoki; Ponce de León, Marcia S.

    2012-01-01

    The type specimen for Australopithecus africanus (Taung) includes a natural endocast that reproduces most of the external morphology of the right cerebral hemisphere and a fragment of fossilized face that articulates with the endocast. Despite the fact that Taung died between 3 and 4 y of age, the endocast reproduces a small triangular-shaped remnant of the anterior fontanelle, from which a clear metopic suture (MS) courses rostrally along the midline [Hrdlička A (1925) Am J Phys Anthropol 8:379–392]. Here we describe and interpret this feature of Taung in light of comparative fossil and actualistic data on the timing of MS closure. In great apes, the MS normally fuses shortly after birth, such that unfused MS similar to Taung’s are rare. In humans, however, MS fuses well after birth, and partially or unfused MS are frequent. In gracile fossil adult hominins that lived between ∼3.0 and 1.5 million y ago, MS are also relatively frequent, indicating that the modern human-like pattern of late MS fusion may have become adaptive during early hominin evolution. Selective pressures favoring delayed fusion might have resulted from three aspects of perinatal ontogeny: (i) the difficulty of giving birth to large-headed neonates through birth canals that were reconfigured for bipedalism (the “obstetric dilemma”), (ii) high early postnatal brain growth rates, and (iii) reorganization and expansion of the frontal neocortex. Overall, our data indicate that hominin brain evolution occurred within a complex network of fetopelvic constraints, which required modification of frontal neurocranial ossification patterns. PMID:22566620

  1. Metric and geometric morphometric analysis of new hominin fossils from Maba (Guangdong, China).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Dongfang; Bae, Christopher J; Shen, Guanjun; Delson, Eric; Jin, Jennie J H; Webb, Nicole M; Qiu, Licheng

    2014-09-01

    We present an analysis of a set of previously unreported hominin fossils from Maba (Guangdong, China), a cave site that is best known for the presence of a partial hominin cranium currently assigned as mid-Pleistocene Homo and that has been traditionally dated to around the Middle-Late Pleistocene transition. A more recent set of Uranium series dates indicate that the Maba travertine may date to >237 ka (thousands of years ago), as opposed to the original U-series date, which placed Maba at 135-129 ka. The fossils under study include five upper first and second molars and a partial left mandible with a socketed m3, all recovered from different parts of the site than the cranium or the dated sediments. The results of our metric and 2D geometric morphometric ('GM') study suggest that the upper first molars are likely from modern humans, suggesting a more recent origin. The upper second molars align more closely with modern humans, though the minimum spanning tree from the 2D GM analysis also connects Maba to Homo neanderthalensis. The patterning in the M2s is not as clear as with the M1s. The m3 and partial mandible are morphometrically intermediate between Holocene modern humans and older Homo sapiens. However, a minimum spanning tree indicates that both the partial mandible and m3 align most closely with Holocene modern humans, and they also may be substantially younger than the cranium. Because questions exist regarding the context and the relationship of the dated travertine with the hominin fossils, we suggest caution is warranted in interpreting the Maba specimens. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Fossil hominin radii from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Laura; Carretero, José Miguel; García-González, Rebeca; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2016-01-01

    Complete radii in the fossil record preceding recent humans and Neandertals are very scarce. Here we introduce the radial remains recovered from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) site in the Sierra de Atapuerca between 1976 and 2011 and which have been dated in excess of 430 ky (thousands of years) ago. The sample comprises 89 specimens, 49 of which are attributed to adults representing a minimum of seven individuals. All elements are described anatomically and metrically, and compared with other fossil hominins and recent humans in order to examine the phylogenetic polarity of certain radial features. Radial remains from SH have some traits that differentiate them from those of recent humans and make them more similar to Neandertals, including strongly curved shafts, anteroposterior expanded radial heads and both absolutely and relatively long necks. In contrast, the SH sample differs from Neandertals in showing a high overall gracility as well as a high frequency (80%) of an anteriorly oriented radial tuberosity. Thus, like the cranial and dental remains from the SH site, characteristic Neandertal radial morphology is not present fully in the SH radii. We also analyzed the cross-sectional properties of the SH radial sample at two different levels: mid-shaft and at the midpoint of the neck length. When standardized by shaft length, no difference in the mid-shaft cross-sectional properties were found between the SH hominins, Neandertals and recent humans. Nevertheless, due to their long neck length, the SH hominins show a higher lever efficiency than either Neandertals or recent humans. Functionally, the SH radial morphology is consistent with more efficient pronation-supination and flexion-extension movements. The particular trait composition in the SH sample and Neandertals resembles more closely morphology evident in recent human males. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Lucy's flat feet: the relationship between the ankle and rearfoot arching in early hominins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy M DeSilva

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the Plio-Pleistocene, the hominin foot evolved from a grasping appendage to a stiff, propulsive lever. Central to this transition was the development of the longitudinal arch, a structure that helps store elastic energy and stiffen the foot during bipedal locomotion. Direct evidence for arch evolution, however, has been somewhat elusive given the failure of soft-tissue to fossilize. Paleoanthropologists have relied on footprints and bony correlates of arch development, though little consensus has emerged as to when the arch evolved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we present evidence from radiographs of modern humans (n = 261 that the set of the distal tibia in the sagittal plane, henceforth referred to as the tibial arch angle, is related to rearfoot arching. Non-human primates have a posteriorly directed tibial arch angle, while most humans have an anteriorly directed tibial arch angle. Those humans with a posteriorly directed tibial arch angle (8% have significantly lower talocalcaneal and talar declination angles, both measures of an asymptomatic flatfoot. Application of these results to the hominin fossil record reveals that a well developed rearfoot arch had evolved in Australopithecus afarensis. However, as in humans today, Australopithecus populations exhibited individual variation in foot morphology and arch development, and "Lucy" (A.L. 288-1, a 3.18 Myr-old female Australopithecus, likely possessed asymptomatic flat feet. Additional distal tibiae from the Plio-Pleistocene show variation in tibial arch angles, including two early Homo tibiae that also have slightly posteriorly directed tibial arch angles. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study finds that the rearfoot arch was present in the genus Australopithecus. However, the female Australopithecus afarensis "Lucy" has an ankle morphology consistent with non-pathological flat-footedness. This study suggests that, as in humans today, there was variation in arch

  4. Geological and edaphic constraints on early hominin landscape exploitation in the Kenya Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuebler, S.; King, G. C. P.; Rucina, S.

    2017-12-01

    Our study in the Kenya Rift shows that soil edaphics and active rift structures play a key role in present day animal movements as well as the for the location of early hominin sites. Based on studying the relationship between the geology, tectonics and soil development we identified 'good' and 'bad' regions both in terms of edaphics and accessibility for grazing animals. We created palaeoenvironmental reconstructions for interpreting human land use and exploitation of large mammals in the Kenya Rift for the relevant time frame of 1 Ma BP. At Olorgesailie the hominin site is located in lacustrine sediments at the southern edge of a playa that extends north and northwest of Mt. Olorgesailie. Lakebeds are now tilted and eroded by motion on two north-south striking faults. The lake was trapped by volcanic flows and alluvial fans from Mt. Olorgesailie and was released by fault motion leading to deep river incision and exposure of the site. To the west and the north steep fault scarps bound the playa forming a natural barrier for animals. Field observations and information from local shepherds suggest that the abundant trachytes at the valley floor produce poor soils whereas the soils developed on lacustrine and alluvial sediments close to the hominin site provide much more attractive grazing sites for present-day animals. This is supported by our soil analysis. With a lake in the past the Olorgesailie site represents an key example of how early hominins may have used the landscape for their strategic advantage. At Kariandusi site we investigated the tectonic and volcanic history of the region, and the system of lakes that have undergone periodic expansion and contraction during the Pleistocene in response to climatic and tectonic controls. We used this information to reconstruct topographic features as they would have existed at different periods of the past and their likely influence on patterns of large-mammal movements, and linked this with information from soil

  5. Network analysis of the hominin origin of Herpes Simplex virus 2 from fossil data

    OpenAIRE

    Underdown, Simon; Kumar, Krishna; Houldcroft, Charlotte

    2017-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus 2 is a human herpesvirus found worldwide that causes genital lesions and more rarely causes encephalitis. This pathogen is most common in Africa, and particularly in central and east Africa, an area of particular significance for the evolution of modern humans. Unlike HSV1, HSV2 has not simply co-speciated with humans from their last common ancestor with primates. HSV2 jumped the species barrier between 1.4 and 3 MYA, most likely through intermediate but unknown hominin s...

  6. Comparative analysis of trabecular bone structure and orientation in South African hominin tali.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Anne; Carlson, Kristian J

    2017-05-01

    Tali of several hominin taxa are preserved in the fossil record and studies of the external morphology of these often show a mosaic of human-like and ape-like features. This has contributed to a growing recognition of variability characterizing locomotor kinematics of Australopithecus. In contrast, locomotor kinematics of another Plio-Pleistocene hominin, Paranthropus, are substantially less well-documented, in part, because of the paucity of postcranial fossils securely attributed to the genus. Since the talus transmits locomotor-based loads through the ankle and its internal structure is hypothesized to reflect accommodation to such loads, it is a cornerstone structure for reconstructing locomotor kinematics. Here we quantify and characterize trabecular bone morphology within tali attributed to Australopithecus africanus (StW 102, StW 363, StW 486) and Paranthropus robustus (TM 1517), making quantitative comparisons to modern humans, extant non-human apes, baboons, and a hominin talus attributed to Paranthropus boisei (KNM-ER 1464). Using high-resolution images of fossil tali (25 μm voxels), nine trabecular bone subregions of interest beneath the articular surface of the talar trochlea were segmented to quantify localized patterns in distribution and primary strut orientation. It was found that trabecular strut orientation and shape, in some cases, can discriminate amongst species characterized by different locomotor foot kinematics. Discriminant function analyses using standard trabecular bone structural properties align TM 1517 with Pan and Gorilla, while other hominin tali structurally most resemble those of baboons. In primary strut orientation, Paranthropus tali (KNM-ER 1464 and TM 1517) resemble the human condition in the anterior-medial subregion, where strut orientation appears positioned to distribute compressive loads medially and distally toward the talar head. In A. africanus tali (particularly StW 486), primary strut orientation in this region

  7. Mitogenomic analyses from ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paijmans, Johanna L. A.; Gilbert, Tom; Hofreiter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of ancient DNA is playing an increasingly important role in conservation genetic, phylogenetic and population genetic analyses, as it allows incorporating extinct species into DNA sequence trees and adds time depth to population genetics studies. For many years, these types of DNA...... analyses (whether using modern or ancient DNA) were largely restricted to the analysis of short fragments of the mitochondrial genome. However, due to many technological advances during the past decade, a growing number of studies have explored the power of complete mitochondrial genome sequences...... (mitogenomes). Such studies were initially limited to analyses of extant organisms, but developments in both DNA sequencing technologies and general methodological aspects related to working with degraded DNA have resulted in complete mitogenomes becoming increasingly popular for ancient DNA studies as well...

  8. Tuberculosis in ancient times

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Cilliers

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available In spite of an array of effective antibiotics, tuberculosis is still very common in developing countries where overcrowding, malnutrition and poor hygienic conditions prevail. Over the past 30 years associated HIV infection has worsened the situation by increasing the infection rate and mortality of tuberculosis. Of those diseases caused by a single organism only HIV causes more deaths internationally than tuberculosis. The tubercle bacillus probably first infected man in Neolithic times, and then via infected cattle, but the causative Mycobacteriacea have been in existence for 300 million years. Droplet infection is the most common way of acquiring tuberculosis, although ingestion (e.g. of infected cows’ milk may occur. Tuberculosis probably originated in Africa. The earliest path gnomonic evidence of human tuberculosis in man was found in osteo-archaeological findings of bone tuberculosis (Pott’s disease of the spine in the skeleton of anEgyptian priest from the 21st Dynasty (approximately 1 000 BC. Suggestive but not conclusiveevidence of tuberculotic lesions had been found in even earlier skeletons from Egypt and Europe. Medical hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt are silent on the disease, which could be tuberculosis,as do early Indian and Chinese writings. The Old Testament refers to the disease schachapeth, translated as phthisis in the Greek Septuagint. Although the Bible is not specific about this condition, tuberculosis is still called schachapeth in modern Hebrew. In pre-Hippocratic Greece Homer did not mention phthisis, a word meaning non-specific wasting of the body. However. Alexander of Tralles (6th century BC seemed to narrow the concept down to a specific disease, and in the Hippocratic Corpus (5th-4th centuries BC phthisis can be recognised as tuberculosis. It was predominantly a respiratory disease commonly seen and considered to be caused by an imbalance of bodily humours. It was commonest in autumn, winter and spring

  9. Possible brucellosis in an early hominin skeleton from sterkfontein, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruggero D'Anastasio

    Full Text Available We report on the paleopathological analysis of the partial skeleton of the late Pliocene hominin species Australopithecus africanus Stw 431 from Sterkfontein, South Africa. A previous study noted the presence of lesions on vertebral bodies diagnosed as spondylosis deformans due to trauma. Instead, we suggest that these lesions are pathological changes due to the initial phases of an infectious disease, brucellosis. The macroscopic, microscopic and radiological appearance of the lytic lesions of the lumbar vertebrae is consistent with brucellosis. The hypothesis of brucellosis (most often associated with the consumption of animal proteins in a 2.4 to 2.8 million year old hominid has a host of important implications for human evolution. The consumption of meat has been regarded an important factor in supporting, directing or altering human evolution. Perhaps the earliest (up to 2.5 million years ago paleontological evidence for meat eating consists of cut marks on animal remains and stone tools that could have made these marks. Now with the hypothesis of brucellosis in A. africanus, we may have evidence of occasional meat eating directly linked to a fossil hominin.

  10. A Hominin Femur with Archaic Affinities from the Late Pleistocene of Southwest China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren Curnoe

    Full Text Available The number of Late Pleistocene hominin species and the timing of their extinction are issues receiving renewed attention following genomic evidence for interbreeding between the ancestors of some living humans and archaic taxa. Yet, major gaps in the fossil record and uncertainties surrounding the age of key fossils have meant that these questions remain poorly understood. Here we describe and compare a highly unusual femur from Late Pleistocene sediments at Maludong (Yunnan, Southwest China, recovered along with cranial remains that exhibit a mixture of anatomically modern human and archaic traits. Our studies show that the Maludong femur has affinities to archaic hominins, especially Lower Pleistocene femora. However, the scarcity of later Middle and Late Pleistocene archaic remains in East Asia makes an assessment of systematically relevant character states difficult, warranting caution in assigning the specimen to a species at this time. The Maludong fossil probably samples an archaic population that survived until around 14,000 years ago in the biogeographically complex region of Southwest China.

  11. Dental microwear and stable isotopes inform the paleoecology of extinct hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grine, Frederick E; Sponheimer, Matt; Ungar, Peter S; Lee-Thorp, Julia; Teaford, Mark F

    2012-06-01

    Determining the diet of an extinct species is paramount in any attempt to reconstruct its paleoecology. Because the distribution and mechanical properties of food items may impact postcranial, cranial, mandibular, and dental morphologies related to their procurement, ingestion, and mastication, these anatomical attributes have been studied intensively. However, while mechanical environments influence skeletal and dental features, it is not clear to what extent they dictate particular morphologies. Although biomechanical explanations have been widely applied to extinct hominins in attempts to retrodict dietary proclivities, morphology may say as much about what they were capable of eating, and perhaps more about phylogenetic history, than about the nature of the diet. Anatomical attributes may establish boundary limits, but direct evidence left by the foods that were actually (rather than hypothetically) consumed is required to reconstruct diet. Dental microwear and the stable light isotope chemistry of tooth enamel provide such evidence, and are especially powerful when used in tandem. We review the foundations for microwear and biogeochemistry in diet reconstruction, and discuss this evidence for six early hominin species (Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis, Au. afarensis, Au. africanus, Paranthropus robustus, and P. boisei). The dietary signals derived from microwear and isotope chemistry are sometimes at odds with inferences from biomechanical approaches, a potentially disquieting conundrum that is particularly evident for several species. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Network analysis of the hominin origin of Herpes Simplex virus 2 from fossil data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underdown, Simon J; Kumar, Krishna; Houldcroft, Charlotte

    2017-07-01

    Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2) is a human herpesvirus found worldwide that causes genital lesions and more rarely causes encephalitis. This pathogen is most common in Africa, and particularly in central and east Africa, an area of particular significance for the evolution of modern humans. Unlike HSV1, HSV2 has not simply co-speciated with humans from their last common ancestor with primates. HSV2 jumped the species barrier between 1.4 and 3 MYA, most likely through intermediate but unknown hominin species. In this article, we use probability-based network analysis to determine the most probable transmission path between intermediate hosts of HSV2, from the ancestors of chimpanzees to the ancestors of modern humans, using paleo-environmental data on the distribution of African tropical rainforest over the last 3 million years and data on the age and distribution of fossil species of hominin present in Africa between 1.4 and 3 MYA. Our model identifies Paranthropus boisei as the most likely intermediate host of HSV2, while Homo habilis may also have played a role in the initial transmission of HSV2 from the ancestors of chimpanzees to P.boisei .

  13. Hominin hand bone fossils from Sterkfontein Caves, South Africa (1998-2003 excavations).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Travis Rayne; Heaton, Jason L; Clarke, Ron J; Stratford, Dominic

    2018-05-01

    We describe eleven hominin metacarpals and phalanges recovered from Jacovec Cavern and Member 4 of the Sterkfontein Formation between 1998 and 2003. Collectively, the fossils date in excess of 2.0 Ma, and are probably attributable to Australopithecus africanus and/or Australopithecus prometheus. When combined with results of previous studies on Australopithecus postcranial functional morphology, the new data presented here suggest that at least some late Pliocene and/or early Pleistocene hominins from Sterkfontein were arboreally adept. This finding accords with the reconstruction of the site's >2.0 Ma catchment area as well-vegetated and containing significant woody components. In addition, most of the new specimens described here evince morphologies that indicate the hands from which they derived lacked complete modern humanlike manual dexterity, which is integral to the manufacture and use of intentionally shaped stone tools. The absence of lithic artifacts from both stratigraphic units from which the fossils were excavated is consistent with this conclusion. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A geometric morphometric analysis of hominin upper premolars. Shape variation and morphological integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Prado-Simón, Leyre; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2011-12-01

    This paper continues the series of articles initiated in 2006 that analyse hominin dental crown morphology by means of geometric morphometric techniques. The detailed study of both upper premolar occlusal morphologies in a comprehensive sample of hominin fossils, including those coming from the Gran Dolina-TD6 and Sima de los Huesos sites from Atapuerca, Spain, complement previous works on lower first and second premolars and upper first molars. A morphological gradient consisting of the change from asymmetric to symmetric upper premolars and a marked reduction of the lingual cusp in recent Homo species has been observed in both premolars. Although percentages of correct classification based on upper premolar morphologies are not very high, significant morphological differences between Neanderthals (and European middle Pleistocene fossils) and modern humans have been identified, especially in upper second premolars. The study of morphological integration between premolar morphologies reveals significant correlations that are weaker between upper premolars than between lower ones and significant correlations between antagonists. These results have important implications for understanding the genetic and functional factors underlying dental phenotypic variation and covariation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, T J H; Uomini, N T; Rendell, L E; Chouinard-Thuly, L; Street, S E; Lewis, H M; Cross, C P; Evans, C; Kearney, R; de la Torre, I; Whiten, A; Laland, K N

    2015-01-13

    Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools-which appear from 2.5 mya and are believed to have been socially transmitted-has been hypothesized to have led to the evolution of teaching and language. Here we present an experiment investigating the efficacy of transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills along chains of adult human participants (N=184) using five different transmission mechanisms. Across six measures, transmission improves with teaching, and particularly with language, but not with imitation or emulation. Our results support the hypothesis that hominin reliance on stone tool-making generated selection for teaching and language, and imply that (i) low-fidelity social transmission, such as imitation/emulation, may have contributed to the ~700,000 year stasis of the Oldowan technocomplex, and (ii) teaching or proto-language may have been pre-requisites for the appearance of Acheulean technology. This work supports a gradual evolution of language, with simple symbolic communication preceding behavioural modernity by hundreds of thousands of years.

  16. Authenticity in ancient DNA studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske

    2006-01-01

    Ancient DNA studies represent a powerful tool that can be used to obtain genetic insights into the past. However, despite the publication of large numbers of apparently successful ancient DNA studies, a number of problems exist with the field that are often ignored. Therefore, questions exist...... as to how reliable the conclusions of many of the published studies are. In this paper we outline first the problems associated with aDNA studies, and secondly present potential guidelines designed so as to enable non-specialist readers the opportunity to critically assess the quality of aDNA publications....

  17. Ancient DNA perspectives on American colonization and population history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raff, Jennifer A; Bolnick, Deborah A; Tackney, Justin; O'Rourke, Dennis H

    2011-12-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) analyses have proven to be important tools in understanding human population dispersals, settlement patterns, interactions between prehistoric populations, and the development of regional population histories. Here, we review the published results of sixty-three human populations from throughout the Americas and compare the levels of diversity and geographic patterns of variation in the ancient samples with contemporary genetic variation in the Americas in order to investigate the evolution of the Native American gene pool over time. Our analysis of mitochondrial haplogroup frequencies and prehistoric population genetic diversity presents a complex evolutionary picture. Although the broad genetic structure of American prehistoric populations appears to have been established relatively early, we nevertheless identify examples of genetic discontinuity over time in select regions. We discuss the implications this finding may have for our interpretation of the genetic evidence for the initial colonization of the Americas and its subsequent population history. 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Hominin-bearing caves and landscape dynamics in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirks, Paul H. G. M.; Berger, Lee R.

    2013-02-01

    This paper provides constraints on the evolution of the landscape in the Cradle of Humankind (CoH), UNESCO World Heritage Site, South Africa, since the Pliocene. The aim is to better understand the distribution of hominin fossils in the CoH, and determine links between tectonic processes controlling the landscape and the evolution and distribution of hominins occupying that landscape. The paper is focused on a detailed reconstruction of the landscape through time in the Grootvleispruit catchment, which contains the highly significant fossil site of Malapa and the remains of the hominin species Australopithicus sediba. In the past 4 My the landscape in the CoH has undergone major changes in its physical appearance as a result of river incision, which degraded older African planation surfaces, and accommodated denudation of cover rocks (including Karoo sediments and various sil- and ferricretes) to expose dolomite with caves in which fossils collected. Differentially weathered chert breccia dykes, calibrated with 10Be exposure ages, are used to estimate erosion patterns of the landscape across the CoH. In this manner it is shown that 2 My ago Malapa cave was ˜50 m deep, and Gladysvale cave was first exposed; i.e. landscape reconstructions can provide estimates for the time of opening of cave systems that trapped hominin and other fossils. Within the region, cave formation was influenced by lithological, layer-parallel controls interacting with cross-cutting fracture systems of Paleoproterozoic origin, and a NW-SE directed extensional far-field stress at a time when the African erosion surface was still intact, and elevations were probably lower. Cave geometries vary in a systematic manner across the landscape, with deep caves on the plateau and cave erosion remnants in valleys. Most caves formed to similar depths of 1400-1420 mamsl across much of the CoH, indicating that caves no longer deepened once Pliocene uplift and incision occurred, but acted as passive

  19. Study on the provenance of ancient porcelain excavated in Maojiawan ruin by WDXRF analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xie Guoxi

    2007-01-01

    In order to determine the provenance of two different kinds of ancient celadons which were excavated in Maojiawan ruin located in Beijing of China and named FLQ (imitated celadon) and WLNQ which is celadon outside and blue-white inside, ten components of each sample's body and glaze were measured by the wave length dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) analysis. Multivariates statistical analysis was used to analyze and compare the experiment data with those of LQY (ancient celadon) made in Zhejiang and ancient Jingdezhen porcelain (JDZ) made in Jingdezhen. The results show that the two different kinds of ancient celadons have the same provenance as JDZ, that is, they were produced in Jingdezhen. (authors)

  20. Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, David R; Harris, John W K; Levin, Naomi E; McCoy, Jack T; Herries, Andy I R; Bamford, Marion K; Bishop, Laura C; Richmond, Brian G; Kibunjia, Mzalendo

    2010-06-01

    The manufacture of stone tools and their use to access animal tissues by Pliocene hominins marks the origin of a key adaptation in human evolutionary history. Here we report an in situ archaeological assemblage from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya that provides a unique combination of faunal remains, some with direct evidence of butchery, and Oldowan artifacts, which are well dated to 1.95 Ma. This site provides the oldest in situ evidence that hominins, predating Homo erectus, enjoyed access to carcasses of terrestrial and aquatic animals that they butchered in a well-watered habitat. It also provides the earliest definitive evidence of the incorporation into the hominin diet of various aquatic animals including turtles, crocodiles, and fish, which are rich sources of specific nutrients needed in human brain growth. The evidence here shows that these critical brain-growth compounds were part of the diets of hominins before the appearance of Homo ergaster/erectus and could have played an important role in the evolution of larger brains in the early history of our lineage.

  1. Retrieving chronological age from dental remains of early fossil hominins to reconstruct human growth in the past.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, M Christopher

    2010-10-27

    A chronology of dental development in Pan troglodytes is arguably the best available model with which to compare and contrast reconstructed dental chronologies of the earliest fossil hominins. Establishing a time scale for growth is a requirement for being able to make further comparative observations about timing and rate during both dento-skeletal growth and brain growth. The absolute timing of anterior tooth crown and root formation appears not to reflect the period of somatic growth. In contrast, the molar dentition best reflects changes to the total growth period. Earlier initiation of molar mineralization, shorter crown formation times, less root length formed at gingival emergence into functional occlusion are cumulatively expressed as earlier ages at molar eruption. Things that are similar in modern humans and Pan, such as the total length of time taken to form individual teeth, raise expectations that these would also have been the same in fossil hominins. The best evidence there is from the youngest fossil hominin specimens suggests a close resemblance to the model for Pan but also hints that Gorilla may be a better developmental model for some. A mosaic of great ape-like features currently best describes the timing of early hominin dental development.

  2. MIGRATION OF HOMININS WITH MEGAHERBIVORES INTO EUROPE VIA THE DANUBE-PO GATEWAY IN THE LATE MATUYAMA CLIMATE REVOLUTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GIOVANNI MUTTONI

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We update critical reviews of sites bearing hominin remains and/or tools from Europe (including the Balkans and Greece and conclude that the only compelling evidence of hominin presence in these regions was after ~0.9 Ma (million-years-ago, bracketed by the end of the Jaramillo subchron (0.99 Ma and the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (0.78 Ma and straddling the climatic late Early Pleistocene revolution (EPR at the onset of enhanced glacial/interglacial activity that reverberated worldwide. Europe may have become initially populated during the EPR when, possibly for the first time in the Pleistocene, vast and exploitable ecosystems were generated along the Danube-Po Gateway. These newly formed settings, characterized by lowlands with open grasslands and reduced woody cover during glacial/interglacial transitions, represented the closest analogues to the savanna environment to which several large mammals linked with hominins in a common food web were adapted. It was only after stable and vast grassland-savanna environments opened that large mammals (e.g. megaherbivores could expand into Europe along the Danube-Po Gateway in conjunction with the attached food web to which hominins belonged.

  3. A geometric morphometric analysis of hominin upper second and third molars, with particular emphasis on European Pleistocene populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Prado-Simón, Leyre; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2012-09-01

    The study of dental morphology by means of geometric morphometric methods allows for a detailed and quantitative comparison of hominin species that is useful for taxonomic assignment and phylogenetic reconstruction. Upper second and third molars have been studied in a comprehensive sample of Plio- and Pleistocene hominins from African, Asian and European sites in order to complete our analysis of the upper postcanine dentition. Intraspecific variation in these two molars is high, but some interspecific trends can be identified. Both molars exhibit a strong reduction of the distal cusps in recent hominin species, namely European Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens, but this reduction shows specific patterns and proportions in the three groups. Second molars tend to show four well developed cusps in earlier hominin species and their morphology is only marginally affected by allometric effects. Third molars can be incipiently reduced in earlier species and they evince a significant allometric component, identified both inter- and intraspecifically. European Middle Pleistocene fossils from Sima de los Huesos (SH) show a very strong reduction of these two molars, even more marked than the reduction observed in Neanderthals and in modern human populations. The highly derived shape of SH molars points to an early acquisition of typical Neanderthal dental traits by pre-Neanderthal populations and to a deviation of this population from mean morphologies of other European Middle Pleistocene groups. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Evaluating morphometric body mass prediction equations with a juvenile human test sample: accuracy and applicability to small-bodied hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Christopher S; Yapuncich, Gabriel S; Sridhar, Shilpa; Cameron, Noël; Churchill, Steven E

    2018-02-01

    Body mass is an ecologically and biomechanically important variable in the study of hominin biology. Regression equations derived from recent human samples allow for the reasonable prediction of body mass of later, more human-like, and generally larger hominins from hip joint dimensions, but potential differences in hip biomechanics across hominin taxa render their use questionable with some earlier taxa (i.e., Australopithecus spp.). Morphometric prediction equations using stature and bi-iliac breadth avoid this problem, but their applicability to early hominins, some of which differ in both size and proportions from modern adult humans, has not been demonstrated. Here we use mean stature, bi-iliac breadth, and body mass from a global sample of human juveniles ranging in age from 6 to 12 years (n = 530 age- and sex-specific group annual means from 33 countries/regions) to evaluate the accuracy of several published morphometric prediction equations when applied to small humans. Though the body proportions of modern human juveniles likely differ from those of small-bodied early hominins, human juveniles (like fossil hominins) often differ in size and proportions from adult human reference samples and, accordingly, serve as a useful model for assessing the robustness of morphometric prediction equations. Morphometric equations based on adults systematically underpredict body mass in the youngest age groups and moderately overpredict body mass in the older groups, which fall in the body size range of adult Australopithecus (∼26-46 kg). Differences in body proportions, notably the ratio of lower limb length to stature, influence predictive accuracy. Ontogenetic changes in these body proportions likely influence the shift in prediction error (from under- to overprediction). However, because morphometric equations are reasonably accurate when applied to this juvenile test sample, we argue these equations may be used to predict body mass in small-bodied hominins

  5. Ancient medicine--a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuskin, Eugenija; Lipozencić, Jasna; Pucarin-Cvetković, Jasna; Mustajbegović, Jadranka; Schachter, Neil; Mucić-Pucić, Branka; Neralić-Meniga, Inja

    2008-01-01

    Different aspects of medicine and/or healing in several societies are presented. In the ancient times as well as today medicine has been closely related to magic, science and religion. Various ancient societies and cultures had developed different views of medicine. It was believed that a human being has two bodies: a visible body that belongs to the earth and an invisible body of heaven. In the earliest prehistoric days, a different kind of medicine was practiced in countries such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, India, Tibet, China, and others. In those countries, "medicine people" practiced medicine from the magic to modern physical practices. Medicine was magical and mythological, and diseases were attributed mostly to the supernatural forces. The foundation of modern medicine can be traced back to ancient Greeks. Tibetan culture, for instance, even today, combines spiritual and practical medicine. Chinese medicine developed as a concept of yin and yang, acupuncture and acupressure, and it has even been used in the modern medicine. During medieval Europe, major universities and medical schools were established. In the ancient time, before hospitals had developed, patients were treated mostly in temples.

  6. Ancient woodland boundaries in Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Szabó, Péter

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 36, č. 2 (2010), s. 205-214 ISSN 0305-7488 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600050812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : ancient woodland * historical ecology * landscape archaeology Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.983, year: 2010

  7. Ancient genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veiga-Crespo, P; Poza, M; Prieto-Alcedo, M; Villa, T G

    2004-07-01

    Amber is a plant resin mainly produced by coniferous trees that, after entrapping a variety of living beings, was subjected to a process of fossilization until it turned into yellowish, translucent stones. It is also one of the best sources of ancient DNA on which to perform studies on evolution. Here a method for the sterilization of amber that allows reliable ancient DNA extraction with no actual DNA contamination is described. Working with insects taken from amber, it was possible to amplify the ATP9, PGU1 and rRNA18S ancient genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae corresponding to samples from the Miocene and Oligocene. After comparison of the current genes with their ancient (up to 35-40 million years) counterparts it was concluded that essential genes such as rRNA18S are highly conserved and that even normal 'house-keeping' genes, such as PGU1, are strikingly conserved along the millions of years that S. cerevisiae has evolved.

  8. The ancient art of memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, Allan

    2013-12-01

    Revision of Freud's theory requires a new way of seeking dream meaning. With the idea of elaborative encoding, Sue Llewellyn has provided a method of dream interpretation that takes into account both modern sleep science and the ancient art of memory. Her synthesis is elegant and compelling. But is her hypothesis testable?

  9. The Echoes of Ancient Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watzman, Haim

    2006-01-01

    Several artifacts found at the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, or Daughters of Jacob Bridge, archaeological site in Israel provide a picture of ancient human ancestors that is different from the once accepted by most scholars. The discoveries by Israeli archaeologist Naama Goren-Inbar suggest that humans developed language and other key abilities far…

  10. The eye and its diseases in Ancient Egypt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, S. Ry

    1997-01-01

    Ophthalmology, History of ophthalmology, eyes in the Ancient Egypt, eye disease in Ancient Egypt, porotic hyperostosis, mummification......Ophthalmology, History of ophthalmology, eyes in the Ancient Egypt, eye disease in Ancient Egypt, porotic hyperostosis, mummification...

  11. The pattern of hominin postcranial evolution reconsidered in light of size-related shape variation of the distal humerus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lague, Michael R

    2014-10-01

    Previous research suggests that some hominin postcranial features do not follow a linear path of increasing modernization through geological time. With respect to the distal humerus, in particular, the earliest known hominin specimens are reportedly among the most modern in morphology, while some later humeri appear further removed from the average modern human shape. Although Plio-Pleistocene humeri vary widely in size, previous studies have failed to account for size-related shape variation when making morphometric comparisons. This study reexamines hominin postcranial evolution in light of distal humeral allometry. Using two-dimensional landmark data, the relationship between specimen size and shape among modern humans is quantified using multivariate regression and principal components analysis of size-shape space. Fossils are compared with modern human shapes expected at a given size, as well as with the overall average human shape. The null hypothesis of humeral isometry in modern humans is rejected. Subsequently, if one takes allometry into account, the apparent pattern of hominin humeral evolution does not resemble the pattern described above. All 14 of the Plio-Pleistocene hominin fossils examined here share a similar pattern of shape differences from equivalently-sized modern humans, though they vary in the extent to which these differences are expressed. The oldest specimen in the sample (KNM-KP 271; Australopithecus anamensis) exhibits the least human-like elbow morphology. Similarly primitive morphology characterizes all younger species of Australopithecus as well as Paranthropus robustus. After 2 Ma, a subtly more human-like elbow morphology is apparent among specimens attributed to early Homo, as well as among isolated specimens that may represent either Homo or Paranthropus boisei. This study emphasizes the need to consider size-related shape variation when individual fossil specimens are compared with the average shape of a comparative group

  12. Ancient and Modern Coins Unit Plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    United States Mint (Dept. of Treasury), Washington, DC.

    Ancient times comes to life when a student can hold in his/her hand or read about an artifact, such as a coin of the Greek or Roman era. Students are familiar with coins, and this commonality helps them understand the similarities and differences between their lives and times in ancient Greece or Rome. Many symbols on the ancient coins can be…

  13. Taphonomy of fossils from the hominin-bearing deposits at Dikika, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Jessica C; McPherron, Shannon P; Bobe, René; Reed, Denné; Barr, W Andrew; Wynn, Jonathan G; Marean, Curtis W; Geraads, Denis; Alemseged, Zeresenay

    2015-09-01

    Two fossil specimens from the DIK-55 locality in the Hadar Formation at Dikika, Ethiopia, are contemporaneous with the earliest documented stone tools, and they collectively bear twelve marks interpreted to be characteristic of stone tool butchery damage. An alternative interpretation of the marks has been that they were caused by trampling animals and do not provide evidence of stone tool use or large ungulate exploitation by Australopithecus-grade hominins. Thus, resolving which agents created marks on fossils in deposits from Dikika is an essential step in understanding the ecological and taphonomic contexts of the hominin-bearing deposits in this region and establishing their relevance for investigations of the earliest stone tool use. This paper presents results of microscopic scrutiny of all non-hominin fossils collected from the Hadar Formation at Dikika, including additional fossils from DIK-55, and describes in detail seven assemblages from sieved surface sediment samples. The study is the first taphonomic description of Pliocene fossil assemblages from open-air deposits in Africa that were collected without using only methods that emphasize the selective retention of taxonomically-informative specimens. The sieved assemblages show distinctive differences in faunal representation and taphonomic modifications that suggest they sample a range of depositional environments in the Pliocene Hadar Lake Basin, and have implications for how landscape-based taphonomy can be used to infer past microhabitats. The surface modification data show that no marks on any other fossils resemble in size or shape those on the two specimens from DIK-55 that were interpreted to bear stone tool inflicted damage. A large sample of marks from the sieved collections has characteristics that match modern trampling damage, but these marks are significantly smaller than those on the DIK-55 specimens and have different suites of characteristics. Most are not visible without magnification

  14. Corrosion of ancient glass beads found in Southern Thailand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Won-in, K; Thongkam, Y; Intarasiri, S; Kamwanna, T; Dararutana, P

    2012-01-01

    Glass has been used as ornaments and decorations in Thailand for several hundred years. The archaeological resources suggested that the ancient glass beads excavated in southern Thailand were made more than 1300 years ago. Initial findings revealed that there were number of difference in shade between the glass beads of difference colors. Energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) system attached with scanning electron microscope (SEM) and particle-induced X-ray emission spectroscopy (PIXE) were firstly used to study the surface corrosion of the samples. SEM micrographs showed more corroded and flaked microstructure. These were contributed to the interaction of both the ground water and its dissolved chemical compounds.

  15. Dreams in ancient Greek Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laios, K; Moschos, M M; Koukaki, E; Vasilopoulos, E; Karamanou, M; Kontaxaki, M-I; Androutsos, G

    2016-01-01

    Dreams preoccupied the Greek and Roman world in antiquity, therefore they had a prominent role in social, philosophical, religious, historical and political life of those times. They were considered as omens and prophetic signs of future events in private and public life, and that was particularly accentuated when elements of actions which took place in the plot of dreams were associated directly or indirectly with real events. This is why it was important to use them in divination, and helped the growth of superstition and folklore believes. Medicine as a science and an anthropocentric art, could not ignore the importance of dreams, having in mind their popularity in antiquity. In ancient Greek medicine dreams can be divided into two basic categories. In the first one -which is related to religious medicine-dreams experienced by religionists are classified, when resorted to great religious sanctuaries such as those of Asclepius (Asclepieia) and Amphiaraos (Amfiaraeia). These dreams were the essential element for healing in this form of religious medicine, because after pilgrims underwent purifications they went to sleep in a special dwelling of the sanctuaries called "enkoimeterion" (Greek: the place to sleep) so that the healing god would come to their dreams either to cure them or to suggest treatment. In ancient Greek literature there are many reports of these experiences, but if there may be phenomena of self-suggestion, or they could be characterized as propaganda messages from the priesthood of each sanctuary for advertising purposes. The other category concerns the references about dreams found in ancient Greek medical literature, where one can find the attempts of ancient Greek physicians to interpret these dreams in a rational way as sings either of a corporal disease or of psychological distress. This second category will be the object of our study. Despite the different ways followed by each ancient Greek physician in order to explain dreams, their

  16. Landscape-scale variation in hominin tool use: Evidence from the Developed Oldowan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, David R; Rogers, Michael J; Harris, John W K; Walker, Steven J

    2008-12-01

    The relationship between artifact manufacture, use, and discard in the Developed Oldowan is complex. Here we use digital-image-analysis techniques to investigate the intensity of reduction in single-platform cores of the Developed Oldowan of the Okote Member, Koobi Fora Formation. Data suggest that this method provides a more accurate measure of reduction intensity than previous applications of a unifacial-scraper model. Assemblages of single-platform cores excavated from extensive lateral exposures of the Okote Member provide insights into the relationship between raw-material availability and discard patterns. Variation in reduction intensity suggests that tools are not always discarded in patterns that would be predicted by the availability of raw material. Further, it appears that hominin transport decisions involved an assessment of the potential use-life of certain forms. Many aspects of Developed Oldowan technology conform to previously developed models of curated technologies.

  17. Complex tasks force hand laterality and technological behaviour in naturalistically housed chimpanzees: inferences in hominin evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosquera, M; Geribàs, N; Bargalló, A; Llorente, M; Riba, D

    2012-01-01

    Clear hand laterality patterns in humans are widely accepted. However, humans only elicit a significant hand laterality pattern when performing complementary role differentiation (CRD) tasks. Meanwhile, hand laterality in chimpanzees is weaker and controversial. Here we have reevaluated our results on hand laterality in chimpanzees housed in naturalistic environments at Fundació Mona (Spain) and Chimfunshi Wild Orphanage (Zambia). Our results show that the difference between hand laterality in humans and chimpanzees is not as great as once thought. Furthermore, we found a link between hand laterality and task complexity and also an even more interesting connection: CRD tasks elicited not only the hand laterality but also the use of tools. This paper aims to turn attention to the importance of this threefold connection in human evolution: the link between CRD tasks, hand laterality, and tool use, which has important evolutionary implications that may explain the development of complex behaviour in early hominins.

  18. Experimental perspective on fallback foods and dietary adaptations in early hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Jeremiah E; McAbee, Kevin R; Eastman, Meghan M; Ravosa, Matthew J

    2014-01-01

    The robust jaws and large, thick-enameled molars of the Plio-Pleistocene hominins Australopithecus and Paranthropus have long been interpreted as adaptations for hard-object feeding. Recent studies of dental microwear indicate that only Paranthropus robustus regularly ate hard items, suggesting that the dentognathic anatomy of other australopiths reflects rare, seasonal exploitation of hard fallback foods. Here, we show that hard-object feeding cannot explain the extreme morphology of Paranthropus boisei. Rather, analysis of long-term dietary plasticity in an animal model suggests year-round reliance on tough foods requiring prolonged postcanine processing in P. boisei. Increased consumption of such items may have marked the earlier transition from Ardipithecus to Australopithecus, with routine hard-object feeding in P. robustus representing a novel behaviour.

  19. Carnivore activity in the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) hominin sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana

    2014-08-01

    The Sima de los Huesos (SH) site is the largest accumulation of human remains from the Middle Pleistocene known to date. Studies in the last two decades have proposed different hypotheses to explain carnivore activity in the SH human sample. This study provides new data in order to test these different interpretations, and therefore to understand the role of the carnivores in site formation at SH. Carnivores are usually not the origin of large accumulations of hominin fossils in the Eurasian record. The results show that marks of carnivore activity in the SH sample appear very infrequently, which we interpret as indicating that carnivore activity was very sporadic at the site. This is in stark contrast with previous studies. The comparison of bone modification patterns at SH to actualistic carnivore data allows us to suggest that bears were likely to have been the carnivore responsible for the modification observed on both human and bear fossils.

  20. A revision of hominin fossil teeth from Fontana Ranuccio (Middle Pleistocene, Anagni, Frosinone, Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubini, Mauro; Cerroni, Vittorio; Festa, Giulia; Sardella, Raffaele; Zaio, Paola

    2014-12-01

    The Fontana Ranuccio hominin teeth (FR, Latium, Italy) are dated to the Middle Pleistocene. In previous studies these teeth were classified as two lower (left and right) second molars, one lower left central incisor and a badly worn incisor crown, the exact position of which could not be determined. In 2012 these remains were acquired by the Anthropological Service of S.B.A.L. (Italian Ministry of Culture) and for this reason re-analysed. In a thorough revision we have reassessed them both morphologically and dimensionally as two lower (left and right) first molars, one lower left lateral incisor and a possible upper left canine. The comparison with penecontemporaneous and diachronic samples shows that the Fontana Ranuccio teeth are morphologically similar to Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos, Arago XIII and Neanderthal samples. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Energetics in Homo erectus and other early hominins: the consequences of increased lower-limb length.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steudel-Numbers, Karen L

    2006-11-01

    Previous studies of daily energy expenditure (DEE) in hominin fossils have estimated locomotor costs using a formula that was based on six species, all 18 kg or less in mass, including no primates, and that has a number of other problems when applied in an ecological context. It is well established that the energetic cost of human walking is lower than that of representative mammals, particularly for individuals with long lower limbs. The current study reevaluates the daily energy expenditures of a variety of hominin species using more appropriate approaches to estimating locomotor costs. To estimate DEE for primates, I relied on published data on body mass, day range, and the percentage of time spent in various activities. Based on those data, I calculated a value for nonlocomotor DEE. I then used a variant of a method that I have suggested elsewhere to calculate the daily cost due to locomotion (DEEL) and summed the two to calculate total DEE. The more up-to-date methods for calculating the cost of travel result in lower estimates of this aspect of the energy budget than seen in previous studies. Values obtained here for DEE in various representatives of Australopithecus are lower than reported previously by around 200 kcal/day. Taking into account the greater economy of human walking, particularly the effect of the longer lower limbs found in many later Homo species, also results in lowered estimates of DEE. Elongation of the lower limbs in H. erectus reduced relative travel costs nearly 50% in comparison to A.L. 288-1 (A. afarensis). The present method for calculating DEE indicates that female H. erectus DEE was 84% greater than that of female Australopithecus; this disparity is even larger than that suggested by previous workers.

  2. The effect of early hominin occlusal morphology on the fracturing of hard food items.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthaume, Michael; Grosse, Ian R; Patel, Nirdesh D; Strait, David S; Wood, Sarah; Richmond, Brian G

    2010-04-01

    Tooth profile plays an important role in interpretations of the functional morphology of extinct species. We tested hypotheses that australopith occlusal morphology influences the fracture force required to crack large, hard food items using a combination of physical testing and finite element analysis (FEA). We performed mechanical experiments simulating both molar and premolar biting using metal replicas of four hominin specimens representing species that differ in occlusal relief (Praeanthropus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus, and P. boisei). The replicas were inserted into an Instron machine and used to fracture hollow acrylic hemispheres with known material properties. These hemispheres simulate a hard and brittle food item but exhibit far less variability in size and strength than actual nuts or seeds, thereby facilitating interpretations of tooth function. Fracture forces and fracture displacements were measured, and analysis of variance revealed significant differences in fracture force and energy between specimens and tooth types. Complementing the physical testing, a nonlinear contact finite element model was developed to simulate each physical test. Experimental and FEA results showed good correspondence in most cases, and FEA identified stress concentrations consistent with mechanical models predicting that radial/median fractures are important factors in the failure of nut and seed shells. The fracture force data revealed functional similarities between relatively unworn Pr. afarensis and P. robustus teeth, and between relatively unworn A. africanus and heavily worn P. boisei teeth. These results are inconsistent with functional hypotheses, and raise the possibility that the tooth morphology of early hominins and other hard object feeders may not represent adaptations for inducing fractures in large, hard food items, but rather for resisting fractures in the tooth crown. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Ancient DNA from marine mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Hofreiter, Michael; Morin, Philip A.

    2012-01-01

    discuss studies recon- structing inter- and intra-specific phylogenies from aDNA sequences and discuss how aDNA sequences could be used to estimate mutation rates. Finally, we highlight some of the problems of aDNA studies on marine mammals, such as obtaining sufficient sample sizes and calibrating...... such as bone, tooth, baleen, skin, fur, whiskers and scrimshaw using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches provide an oppor- tunity for investigating such changes over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Here, we review the application of aDNA techniques to the study of marine mammals. Most of the studies have...... focused on detecting changes in genetic diversity following periods of exploitation and environmental change. To date, these studies have shown that even small sample sizes can provide useful information on historical genetic diversity. Ancient DNA has also been used in investigations of changes...

  4. Variations in size, shape and asymmetries of the third frontal convolution in hominids: paleoneurological implications for hominin evolution and the origin of language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzeau, Antoine; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Holloway, Ralph L; Prima, Sylvain; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique

    2014-11-01

    The study of brain structural asymmetries as anatomical substrates of functional asymmetries in extant humans, great apes, and fossil hominins is of major importance in understanding the structural basis of modern human cognition. We propose methods to quantify the variation in size, shape and bilateral asymmetries of the third frontal convolution (or posterior inferior frontal gyrus) among recent modern humans, bonobos and chimpanzees, and fossil hominins using actual and virtual endocasts. These methodological improvements are necessary to extend previous qualitative studies of these features. We demonstrate both an absolute and relative bilateral increase in the size of the third frontal convolution in width and length between Pan species, as well as in hominins. We also observed a global bilateral increase in the size of the third frontal convolution across all species during hominin evolution, but also non-allometric intra-group variations independent of brain size within the fossil samples. Finally, our results show that the commonly accepted leftward asymmetry of Broca's cap is biased by qualitative observation of individual specimens. The trend during hominin evolution seems to be a reduction in size on the left compared with the right side, and also a clearer definition of the area. The third frontal convolution considered as a whole projects more laterally and antero-posteriorly in the right hemisphere. As a result, the left 'Broca's cap' looks more globular and better defined. Our results also suggest that the pattern of brain asymmetries is similar between Pan paniscus and hominins, leaving the gradient of the degree of asymmetry as the only relevant structural parameter. As the anatomical substrate related to brain asymmetry has been present since the appearance of the hominin lineage, it is not possible to prove a direct relationship between the extent of variations in the size, shape, and asymmetries of the third frontal convolution and the origin of

  5. Colour Perception in Ancient World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesterov, D. I.; Fedorova, M. Yu

    2017-11-01

    How did the human thought form the surrounding color information into the persistent semantic images of a mythological, pseudoscientific and religious nature? The concepts associated with colour perception are suggested. The existence of colour environment does not depend on the human consciousness. The colour culture formation is directly related to the level of the human consciousness development and the possibility to influence the worldview and culture. The colour perception of a person goes through the stages similar to the development of colour vision in a child. Like any development, the colour consciousness has undergone stages of growth and decline, evolution and stagnation. The way of life and difficult conditions for existence made their own adjustments to the development of the human perception of the surrounding world. Wars have been both a powerful engine of progress in all spheres of life and a great destructive force demolishing the already created and preserved heritage. The surrounding world has always been interesting for humans, evoked images and fantasies in the consciousness of ancient people. Unusual and inexplicable natural phenomena spawned numerous legends and myths which was reflected in the ancient art and architecture and, accordingly, in a certain manifestation of colour in the human society. The colour perception of the ancient man, his pragmatic, utilitarian attitude to colour is considered as well as the influence of dependence on external conditions of existence and their reflection in the colour culture of antiquity. “Natural Science” conducts research in the field of the colour nature and their authorial interpretation of the Hellenic period. Several authorial concepts of the ancient world have been considered.

  6. Landscapes and their relation to hominin habitats: case studies from Australopithecus sites in eastern and southern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Sally C; Bailey, Geoff N; King, Geoffrey C P

    2011-03-01

    We examine the links between geomorphological processes, specific landscape features, surface water drainage, and the creation of suitable habitats for hominins. The existence of mosaic (i.e., heterogeneous) habitats within hominin site landscape reconstructions is typically explained using models of the riverine and gallery forest settings, or the pan or lake setting. We propose a different model: the Tectonic Landscape Model (TLM), where tectonic faulting and volcanism disrupts existing pan or river settings at small-scales (∼10-25 km). Our model encompasses the interpretation of the landscape features, the role of tectonics in creating these landscapes, and the implications for hominins. In particular, the model explains the underlying mechanism for the creation and maintenance of heterogeneous habitats in regions of active tectonics. We illustrate how areas with faulting and disturbed drainage patterns would have been attractive habitats for hominins, such as Australopithecus, and other fauna. Wetland areas are an important characteristic of surface water disturbance by fault activity; therefore we examine the tectonically-controlled Okavango Delta (Botswana) and the Nylsvley wetland (South Africa) as modern examples of how tectonics in a riverine setting significantly enhance the faunal and floral biodiversity. While tectonic landscapes may not have been the only type of attractive habitats to hominins, we propose a suite of landscape, faunal, and floral indicators, which when recovered together suggest that site environments may have been influenced by tectonic and/or volcanic activity while hominins were present. For the fossil sites, we interpret the faulting and landscapes around australopithecine-bearing sites of the Middle Awash (Ethiopia) and Makapansgat, Taung, and Sterkfontein (South Africa) to illustrate these relationships between landscape features and surface water bodies. Exploitation of tectonically active landscapes may explain why the

  7. Persistent C3 vegetation accompanied Plio-Pleistocene hominin evolution in the Malawi Rift (Chiwondo Beds, Malawi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüdecke, Tina; Schrenk, Friedemann; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Kullmer, Ottmar; Bromage, Timothy G; Sandrock, Oliver; Fiebig, Jens; Mulch, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The development of East African savannas is crucial for the origin and evolution of early hominins. These ecosystems, however, vary widely in their fraction of woody cover and today range from closed woodland to open grassland savanna. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon isotope (δ(13)C) record from pedogenic carbonate and Suidae teeth in the southern East African Rift (EAR). These δ(13)C data from the Chiwondo and Chitimwe Beds (Karonga Basin, Northern Malawi) represent a southern hemisphere record in the EAR, a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna, and permit correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominins in today's Somali-Masai Endemic Zone. The sediments along the northwestern shore of Lake Malawi contain fossils attributed to Homo rudolfensis and Paranthropus boisei. The associated hominin localities (Uraha, Malema) are situated between the well-known hominin bearing sites of the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone in the Eastern Rift and the Highveld Grassland in southern Africa, and fill an important geographical gap for hominin research. Persistent δ(13)C values around -9‰ from pedogenic carbonate and suid enamel covering the last ∼4.3 Ma indicate a C3-dominated closed environment with regional patches of C4-grasslands in the Karonga Basin. The overall fraction of woody cover of 60-70% reflects significantly higher canopy density in the Malawi Rift than the Eastern Rift through time. The discrepancy between the two savanna types originated in the Late Pliocene, when the Somali-Masai ecosystem started to show increasing evidence for open, C4-dominated landscapes. Based on the Malawi δ(13)C data, the evolution of savanna ecosystems in Eastern Africa followed different patterns along the north-south extent of the EAR. The appearance of C4-grasses is considered a driver of evolutionary faunal shifts, but despite the difference of ecosystem evolution in the north, similar

  8. Preservation of ancient DNA in thermally damaged archaeological bone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottoni, Claudio; Koon, Hannah E. C.; Collins, Matthew J.; Penkman, Kirsty E. H.; Rickards, Olga; Craig, Oliver E.

    2009-02-01

    Evolutionary biologists are increasingly relying on ancient DNA from archaeological animal bones to study processes such as domestication and population dispersals. As many animal bones found on archaeological sites are likely to have been cooked, the potential for DNA preservation must be carefully considered to maximise the chance of amplification success. Here, we assess the preservation of mitochondrial DNA in a medieval cattle bone assemblage from Coppergate, York, UK. These bones have variable degrees of thermal alterations to bone collagen fibrils, indicative of cooking. Our results show that DNA preservation is not reliant on the presence of intact collagen fibrils. In fact, a greater number of template molecules could be extracted from bones with damaged collagen. We conclude that moderate heating of bone may enhance the retention of DNA fragments. Our results also indicate that ancient DNA preservation is highly variable, even within a relatively recent assemblage from contexts conducive to organic preservation, and that diagenetic parameters based on protein diagenesis are not always useful for predicting ancient DNA survival.

  9. Ancient Genomics and the Peopling of the Southwest Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skoglund, Pontus; Posth, Cosimo; Sirak, Kendra; Spriggs, Matthew; Valentin, Frederique; Bedford, Stuart; Clark, Geoffrey; Reepmeyer, Christian; Petchey, Fiona; Fernandes, Daniel; Fu, Qiaomei; Harney, Eadaoin; Lipson, Mark; Mallick, Swapan; Novak, Mario; Rohland, Nadin; Stewardson, Kristin; Abdullah, Syafiq; Cox, Murray P.; Friedlaender, Françoise R.; Friedlaender, Jonathan S.; Kivisild, Toomas; Koki, George; Kusuma, Pradiptajati; Merriwether, D. Andrew; Ricaut, Francois-X.; Wee, Joseph T. S.; Patterson, Nick; Krause, Johannes; Pinhasi, Ron; Reich, David

    2017-01-01

    The appearance of people associated with the Lapita culture in the South Pacific ~3,000 years ago1 marked the beginning of the last major human dispersal to unpopulated lands. However, the relationship of these pioneers to the long established Papuans of the New Guinea region is unclear. We report genome-wide ancient DNA data from four individuals from Vanuatu (~3100-2700 years before present) and Tonga (~2700-2300 years before present), and co-analyze them with 778 present-day East Asians and Oceanians. Today, indigenous peoples of the South Pacific harbor a mixture of ancestry from Papuans and a population of East Asian origin that does not exist in unmixed form today, but is a match to the ancient individuals. Most analyses have interpreted the minimum of twenty-five percent Papuan ancestry in the region today as evidence that the first humans to reach Remote Oceania, including Polynesia, were derived from population mixtures near New Guinea, prior to the further expansion into Remote Oceania2–5. However, our finding that the ancient individuals had little to no Papuan ancestry implies later human population movements that spread Papuan ancestry through the South Pacific after the islands’ first peopling. PMID:27698418

  10. Preservation of ancient DNA in thermally damaged archaeological bone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottoni, Claudio; Koon, Hannah E C; Collins, Matthew J; Penkman, Kirsty E H; Rickards, Olga; Craig, Oliver E

    2009-02-01

    Evolutionary biologists are increasingly relying on ancient DNA from archaeological animal bones to study processes such as domestication and population dispersals. As many animal bones found on archaeological sites are likely to have been cooked, the potential for DNA preservation must be carefully considered to maximise the chance of amplification success. Here, we assess the preservation of mitochondrial DNA in a medieval cattle bone assemblage from Coppergate, York, UK. These bones have variable degrees of thermal alterations to bone collagen fibrils, indicative of cooking. Our results show that DNA preservation is not reliant on the presence of intact collagen fibrils. In fact, a greater number of template molecules could be extracted from bones with damaged collagen. We conclude that moderate heating of bone may enhance the retention of DNA fragments. Our results also indicate that ancient DNA preservation is highly variable, even within a relatively recent assemblage from contexts conducive to organic preservation, and that diagenetic parameters based on protein diagenesis are not always useful for predicting ancient DNA survival.

  11. Spatially explicit analysis of gastropod biodiversity in ancient Lake Ohrid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Hauffe

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The quality of spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of scientific infrastructure. The European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes.

    In a total of 284 samples from 224 different locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, 68 gastropod species, with 50 of them (= 73.5% being endemic, could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics: (i within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the proportion of endemics increases, and (iv the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity. Moreover, gastropod communities of Lake Ohrid and its feeder springs are both distinct from each other and from the surrounding waters. The analysis also shows that community similarity of Lake Ohrid is mainly driven by niche processes (e.g. environmental factors, but also by neutral processes (e.g. dispersal

  12. An investigation into the ancient abortion laws: comparing ancient Persia with ancient Greece and Rome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarmohammadi, Hassan; Zargaran, Arman; Vatanpour, Azadeh; Abedini, Ehsan; Adhami, Siamak

    2013-01-01

    Since the dawn of medicine, medical rights and ethics have always been one of mankind's concerns. In any civilisation, attention paid to medical laws and ethics depends on the progress of human values and the advancement of medical science. The history of various civilisations teaches that each had its own views on medical ethics, but most had something in common. Ancient civilisations such as Greece, Rome, or Assyria did not consider the foetus to be alive and therefore to have human rights. In contrast, ancient Persians valued the foetus as a living person equal to others. Accordingly, they brought laws against abortion, even in cases of sexual abuse. Furthermore, abortion was considered to be a murder and punishments were meted out to the mother, father, and the person performing it.

  13. Hydrodynamic dispersion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pryce, M.H.L.

    1985-01-01

    A dominant mechanism contributing to hydrodynamic dispersion in fluid flow through rocks is variation of travel speeds within the channels carrying the fluid, whether these be interstices between grains, in granular rocks, or cracks in fractured crystalline rocks. The complex interconnections of the channels ensure a mixing of those parts of the fluid which travel more slowly and those which travel faster. On a macroscopic scale this can be treated statistically in terms of the distribution of times taken by a particle of fluid to move from one surface of constant hydraulic potential to another, lower, potential. The distributions in the individual channels are such that very long travel times make a very important contribution. Indeed, while the mean travel time is related to distance by a well-defined transport speed, the mean square is effectively infinite. This results in an asymmetrical plume which differs markedly from a gaussian shape. The distribution of microscopic travel times is related to the distribution of apertures in the interstices, or in the microcracks, which in turn are affected in a complex way by the stresses acting on the rock matrix

  14. Identification of a new hominin bone from Denisova Cave, Siberia using collagen fingerprinting and mitochondrial DNA analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Samantha; Higham, Thomas; Slon, Viviane; Pääbo, Svante; Meyer, Matthias; Douka, Katerina; Brock, Fiona; Comeskey, Daniel; Procopio, Noemi; Shunkov, Michael; Derevianko, Anatoly; Buckley, Michael

    2016-03-01

    DNA sequencing has revolutionised our understanding of archaic humans during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. Unfortunately, while many Palaeolithic sites contain large numbers of bones, the majority of these lack the diagnostic features necessary for traditional morphological identification. As a result the recovery of Pleistocene-age human remains is extremely rare. To circumvent this problem we have applied a method of collagen fingerprinting to more than 2000 fragmented bones from the site of Denisova Cave, Russia, in order to facilitate the discovery of human remains. As a result of our analysis a single hominin bone (Denisova 11) was identified, supported through in-depth peptide sequencing analysis, and found to carry mitochondrial DNA of the Neandertal type. Subsequent radiocarbon dating revealed the bone to be >50,000 years old. Here we demonstrate the huge potential collagen fingerprinting has for identifying hominin remains in highly fragmentary archaeological assemblages, improving the resources available for wider studies into human evolution.

  15. Retrieving chronological age from dental remains of early fossil hominins to reconstruct human growth in the past

    OpenAIRE

    Dean, M. Christopher

    2010-01-01

    A chronology of dental development in Pan troglodytes is arguably the best available model with which to compare and contrast reconstructed dental chronologies of the earliest fossil hominins. Establishing a time scale for growth is a requirement for being able to make further comparative observations about timing and rate during both dento-skeletal growth and brain growth. The absolute timing of anterior tooth crown and root formation appears not to reflect the period of somatic growth. In c...

  16. Where are inion and endinion? Variations of the exo- and endocranial morphology of the occipital bone during hominin evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzeau, Antoine; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique; Gilissen, Emmanuel

    2011-10-01

    The occipital bone is frequently investigated in paleoanthropological studies because it has several features that help to differentiate various fossil hominin species. Among these features is the separation between inion and endinion, which has been proposed to be an autapomorphic trait in (Asian) Homo erectus. Methodologies are developed here to quantify for the first time the location of these anatomical points, and to interpret their variation due to the complex interactions between exocranial and endocranial size and shape of the occipital and nuchal planes, as well as the occipital lobes and cerebellum. On the basis of our analysis, neither 'the separation between inion and endinion' nor 'endinion below inion' can be considered as an autapomorphic trait in H. erectus, since this feature is a condition shared by extant African great apes and fossil hominins. Moreover, our results show that the exo- and endocranial anatomy of the occipital bone differs between hominins (except Paranthropus boisei specimens and KNM-ER 1805) and great apes. For example, chimpanzees and bonobos are characterized by a very high position of inion and their occipital bone shows an antero-posterior compression. However, these features are partly correlated with their small size when compared with hominins. Asian H. erectus specimens have a thick occipital torus, but do not differ from other robust specimens, neither in this feature nor in the analysed exo- and endocranial proportions of the occipital bone. Finally, the apparent brain size reduction during the Late Pleistocene and variation between the sexes in anatomically modern humans (AMH) reflect that specimens with smaller brains have a relatively larger posterior height of the cerebellum. However, this trend is not the sole explanation for the 'vertical shift' of endinion above inion that appears occasionally and exclusively in AMH. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The conscious of Nightmares in ancient China

    OpenAIRE

    西林, 眞紀子

    2006-01-01

    The analaysis concerns Nightmares in ancient China. People in ancient China were very afraid of Nightmares. Nightmares are described in the『春秋左氏傳』etc. The exocis Nightmares is described in the『周禮』. The ceremony "難" of exocis Nightmares in the『禮記』. In the characters Meng (夢) had the conscious of Nightmares in ancient China. The analaysis is about the characters 'Meng', about the characters of the relationship 'Meng'

  18. The Ancient Greece's roots of Olimpism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bubka Sergej Nazarovich

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper focused on the phenomena of sport in Ancient Greece along with history, traditions, religion, education, culture and art. Economic and political conditions are analysed which promote or hamper development of Olympic Games in Ancient Greece. Exceptional stability of Ancient Olympic games during more than eleven centuries are noted as well as their influence on the life of Greek polices of those days. Hellenistic period needs of individual consideration.

  19. Incremental distribution of strontium and zinc in great ape and fossil hominin cementum using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Christopher; Le Cabec, Adeline; Spiers, Kathryn; Zhang, Yi; Garrevoet, Jan

    2018-01-01

    Cementum and the incremental markings it contains have been widely studied as a means of ageing animals and retrieving information about diet and nutrition. The distribution of trace elements in great ape and fossil hominin cementum has not been studied previously. Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) enables rapid scanning of large tissue areas with high resolution of elemental distributions. First, we used SXRF to map calcium, phosphorus, strontium and zinc distributions in great ape dentine and cementum. At higher resolution, we compared zinc and strontium distributions in cellular and acellular cementum in regions where clear incremental markings were expressed. We then mapped trace element distributions in fossil hominin dentine and cementum from the 1.55-1.65 million year old site of Koobi Fora, Kenya. Zinc, in particular, is a precise marker of cementum increments in great apes, and is retained in fossil hominin cementum, but does not correspond well with the more diffuse fluctuations observed in strontium distribution. Cementum is unusual among mineralized tissues in retaining so much zinc. This is known to reduce the acid solubility of hydroxyapatite and so may confer resistance to resorption by osteoclasts in the dynamic remodelling environment of the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. © 2018 The Author(s).

  20. Bovid mortality profiles in paleoecological context falsify hypotheses of endurance running-hunting and passive scavenging by early Pleistocene hominins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunn, Henry T.; Pickering, Travis Rayne

    2010-11-01

    The world's first archaeological traces from 2.6 million years ago (Ma) at Gona, in Ethiopia, include sharp-edged cutting tools and cut-marked animal bones, which indicate consumption of skeletal muscle by early hominin butchers. From that point, evidence of hominin meat-eating becomes increasingly more common throughout the Pleistocene archaeological record. Thus, the substantive debate about hominin meat-eating now centers on mode(s) of carcass resource acquisition. Two prominent hypotheses suggest, alternatively, (1) that early Homo hunted ungulate prey by running them to physiological failure and then dispatching them, or (2) that early Homo was relegated to passively scavenging carcass residues abandoned by carnivore predators. Various paleontologically testable predictions can be formulated for both hypotheses. Here we test four predictions concerning age-frequency distributions for bovids that contributed carcass remains to the 1.8 Ma. old FLK 22 Zinjanthropus (FLK Zinj, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania) fauna, which zooarchaeological and taphonomic data indicate was formed predominantly by early Homo. In all but one case, the bovid mortality data from FLK Zinj violate test predictions of the endurance running-hunting and passive scavenging hypotheses. When combined with other taphonomic data, these results falsify both hypotheses, and lead to the hypothesis that early Homo operated successfully as an ambush predator.

  1. Ancient Indian Leaps into Mathematics

    CERN Document Server

    Yadav, B S

    2011-01-01

    This book presents contributions of mathematicians covering topics from ancient India, placing them in the broader context of the history of mathematics. Although the translations of some Sanskrit mathematical texts are available in the literature, Indian contributions are rarely presented in major Western historical works. Yet some of the well-known and universally-accepted discoveries from India, including the concept of zero and the decimal representation of numbers, have made lasting contributions to the foundation of modern mathematics. Through a systematic approach, this book examines th

  2. Aiding the Interpretation of Ancient Documents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roued-Cunliffe, Henriette

    How can Decision Support System (DSS) software aid the interpretation process involved in the reading of ancient documents? This paper discusses the development of a DSS prototype for the reading of ancient texts. In this context the term ‘ancient documents’ is used to describe mainly Greek...... tool it is important first to comprehend the interpretation process involved in reading ancient documents. This is not a linear process but rather a recursive process where the scholar moves between different levels of reading, such as ‘understanding the meaning of a character’ or ‘understanding...

  3. The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Evans, James

    1998-01-01

    The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy combines new scholarship with hands-on science to bring readers into direct contact with the work of ancient astronomers. While tracing ideas from ancient Babylon to sixteenth-century Europe, the book places its greatest emphasis on the Greek period, when astronomers developed the geometric and philosophical ideas that have determined the subsequent character of Western astronomy. The author approaches this history through the concrete details of ancient astronomical practice. Carefully organized and generously illustrated, the book can teach reade

  4. Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project. Chew Bahir, southern Ethiopia: How to get from three tonnes of sediment core to > 500 ka of continuous climate history?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Verena; Asrat, Asfawossen; Cohen, Andrew S.; Gromig, Raphael; Günter, Christina; Junginger, Annett; Lamb, Henry F.; Schaebitz, Frank; Trauth, Martin H.

    2016-04-01

    In search of the environmental context of the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens and our close relatives within and beyond the African continent, the ICDP-funded Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) has recently cored five fluvio-lacustrine archives of climate change in East Africa. The sediment cores collected in Ethiopia and Kenya are expected to provide valuable insights into East African environmental variability during the last ~3.5 Ma. The tectonically-bound Chew Bahir basin in the southern Ethiopian rift is one of the five sites within HSPDP, located in close proximity to the Lower Omo River valley, the site of the oldest known fossils of anatomically modern humans. In late 2014, the two cores (279 and 266 m long respectively, HSPDP-CHB14-2A and 2B) were recovered, summing up to nearly three tonnes of mostly calcareous clays and silts. Deciphering an environmental record from multiple records, from the source region of modern humans could eventually allow us to reconstruct the pronounced variations of moisture availability during the transition into Middle Stone Age, and its implications for the origin and dispersal of Homo sapiens. Here we present the first results of our analysis of the Chew Bahir cores. Following the HSPDP protocols, the two parallel Chew Bahir sediment cores have been merged into one single, 280 m long and nearly continuous (>90%) composite core on the basis of a high resolution MSCL data set (e.g., magnetic susceptibility, gamma ray density, color intensity transects, core photographs). Based on the obvious cyclicities in the MSCL, correlated with orbital cycles, the time interval covered by our sediment archive of climate change is inferred to span the last 500-600 kyrs. Combining our first results from the long cores with the results from the accomplished pre-study of short cores taken in 2009/10 along a NW-SE transect across the basin (Foerster et al., 2012, Trauth et al., 2015), we have developed a hypothesis

  5. Application of neutron activation analysis in study of ancient ceramics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Guoxia; Zhao Weijuan; Gao Zhengyao; Xie Jianzhong; Huang Zhongxiang; Jia Xiuqin; Han Song

    2000-01-01

    Trace-elements in ancient ceramics and imitative ancient ceramics were determined by neutron activation analysis (NAA). The NAA data are then analyzed by fuzzy cluster method and the trend cluster diagram is obtained. The raw material sources of ancient ceramics and imitative ancient ceramics are determined. The path for improving quality of imitative ancient ceramics is found

  6. Hominin stature, body mass, and walking speed estimates based on 1.5 million-year-old fossil footprints at Ileret, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dingwall, Heather L; Hatala, Kevin G; Wunderlich, Roshna E; Richmond, Brian G

    2013-06-01

    The early Pleistocene marks a period of major transition in hominin body form, including increases in body mass and stature relative to earlier hominins. However, because complete postcranial fossils with reliable taxonomic attributions are rare, efforts to estimate hominin mass and stature are complicated by the frequent albeit necessary use of isolated, and often fragmentary, skeletal elements. The recent discovery of 1.52 million year old hominin footprints from multiple horizons in Ileret, Kenya, provides new data on the complete foot size of early Pleistocene hominins as well as stride lengths and other characteristics of their gaits. This study reports the results of controlled experiments with habitually unshod Daasanach adults from Ileret to examine the relationships between stride length and speed, and also those between footprint size, body mass, and stature. Based on significant relationships among these variables, we estimate travel speeds ranging between 0.45 m/s and 2.2 m/s from the fossil hominin footprint trails at Ileret. The fossil footprints of seven individuals show evidence of heavy (mean = 50.0 kg; range: 41.5-60.3 kg) and tall individuals (mean = 169.5 cm; range: 152.6-185.8 cm), suggesting that these prints were most likely made by Homo erectus and/or male Paranthropus boisei. The large sizes of these footprints provide strong evidence that hominin body size increased during the early Pleistocene. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Chew Bahir: A Key Site within the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project, towards a Half Million-Year Climate Record from Southern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaebitz, F.; Asrat, A.; Lamb, H. F.; Trauth, M. H.; Foerster, V. E.; Junginger, A.; Raub, T. D.; Gromig, R.; Viehberg, F. A.; Roberts, H. M.; Cohen, A.

    2015-12-01

    Chew Bahir, a saline mudflat today, is one of the five sites in East Africa, drilled within the framework of HSPDP (Hominin Site and Paleolakes Drilling Project). It is also one of the key sites of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC-806) "Our way to Europe" aiming at the reconstruction of environmental conditions in the source region of modern man (H. sapiens). It is suggested that a changing environment could have triggered the mobility and dispersal of modern man. The oldest known fossils of anatomical modern humans (~195 ka BP) were found in the Omo basin, not more than 90km westwards of our drill site. The deposits in the tectonic basin of Chew Bahir in southern Ethiopia were cored in Nov. 2014 in two boreholes down to 280 m and 260 m below surface respectively. The overlapping long cores (drilled ~20 m apart from each other), were opened, scanned, described and sampled in low resolution in April 2015. The recovered sediments mostly contain green-greyish to light coloured and brown to reddish clays and silty clays, interbedded with some laminated mica-rich sand layers and occurrences of carbonate concretions and nodules, which decrease upcore. Here we will present a first set of results on the composite core, comprising mainly lithology and magnetic susceptibility (MS). Based on known sedimentation rates from pre-studies performed on short cores across the basin, we anticipate the deep drilled cores to cover at least 500 ka BP. Moreover, new insights into the role of post-depositional alteration, especially of clay minerals and zeolites, will be presented as a contribution to an improved understanding of formation processes. The results support the identification of wet and dry climate periods in the past. Those pronounced variations of moisture availability, are thought to have influenced the evolution and mobility of Homo sapiens sapiens.

  8. Long-term patterns of body mass and stature evolution within the hominin lineage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pablos, Adrián; Stock, Jay T.

    2017-01-01

    Body size is a central determinant of a species' biology and adaptive strategy, but the number of reliable estimates of hominin body mass and stature have been insufficient to determine long-term patterns and subtle interactions in these size components within our lineage. Here, we analyse 254 body mass and 204 stature estimates from a total of 311 hominin specimens dating from 4.4 Ma to the Holocene using multi-level chronological and taxonomic analytical categories. The results demonstrate complex temporal patterns of body size variation with phases of relative stasis intermitted by periods of rapid increases. The observed trajectories could result from punctuated increases at speciation events, but also differential proliferation of large-bodied taxa or the extinction of small-bodied populations. Combined taxonomic and temporal analyses show that in relation to australopithecines, early Homo is characterized by significantly larger average body mass and stature but retains considerable diversity, including small body sizes. Within later Homo, stature and body mass evolution follow different trajectories: average modern stature is maintained from ca 1.6 Ma, while consistently higher body masses are not established until the Middle Pleistocene at ca 0.5–0.4 Ma, likely caused by directional selection related to colonizing higher latitudes. Selection against small-bodied individuals (less than 40 kg; less than 140 cm) after 1.4 Ma is associated with a decrease in relative size variability in later Homo species compared with earlier Homo and australopithecines. The isolated small-bodied individuals of Homo naledi (ca 0.3 Ma) and Homo floresiensis (ca 100–60 ka) constitute important exceptions to these general patterns, adding further layers of complexity to the evolution of body size within the genus Homo. At the end of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, body size in Homo sapiens declines on average, but also extends to lower limits not seen in

  9. Contemporary flowstone development links early hominin bearing cave deposits in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Robyn; Kramers, Jan D.; Hancox, Philip John; de Ruiter, Darryl J.; Woodhead, Jon D.

    2011-06-01

    The Cradle of Humankind cave sites in South Africa preserve fossil evidence of four early hominin taxa: Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus sediba, Paranthropus robustus and early Homo. In order to integrate this record into a pan-African scenario of human evolutionary history it is critical to have reliable dates and temporal ranges for the southern African hominins. In the past a lack of precise and accurate chronological data has prevented the evaluation of the temporal relationships between the various sites. Here we report new uranium-lead (U-Pb) radiometric ages obtained from sheets of calcium carbonate flowstone inter-bedded between clastic cave sediments at the site of Swartkrans, providing bracketing ages for the fossiliferous deposits. The fossil bearing units of Swartkrans, specifically the Hanging Remnant and Lower Bank of Member 1, are underlain by flowstone layers dated to 2.25 ± 0.05 Ma and 2.25 ± 0.08 Ma and capped by layers of 1.8 ± 0.01 Ma and 1.7 ± 0.07 Ma. The age bracket of the Member 1 deposits is therefore between 2.31 and 1.64 Ma. However, by combining the U-Pb with biostratigraphic data we suggest that this can be narrowed down to between 1.9 and 1.8 Ma. These data can be compared with other recently dated sites and a radiometrically dated U-Pb age sequence formed: Sterkfontein Member 4, Swartkrans Member 1, Malapa, and Cooper's D. From this new U-Pb dataset, a pattern of contemporary flowstone development emerges, with different caves recording the same flowstone-forming event. Specifically overlapping flowstone formation takes place at Swartkrans and Sterkfontein at ~ 2.29 Ma and ~ 1.77 Ma, and at Sterkfontein and Malapa at ˜ 2.02 Ma. This suggests a regional control over the nature and timing of speleothem development in cave deposits and these flowstone layers could assist in future correlation, both internal to specific deposits and regionally between sites.

  10. Hominin responses to environmental changes during the Middle Pleistocene in central and southern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Orain

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The palaeobotanical record of early Palaeolithic sites from Western Europe indicates that hominins settled in different kinds of environments. During the "mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT", from about 1 to 0.6 Ma, the transition from 41- to 100-ka dominant climatic oscillations, occurring within a long-term cooling trend, was associated with an aridity crisis which strongly modified the ecosystems. Starting from the MPT the more favourable climate of central and southern Italy provided propitious environmental conditions for long-term human occupations even during the glacial times. In fact, the human strategy of territory occupation was certainly driven by the availabilities of resources. Prehistoric sites such as Notarchirico (ca. 680–600 ka, La Pineta (ca. 600–620 ka, Guado San Nicola (ca. 380–350 ka or Ceprano (ca. 345–355 ka testify to a preferential occupation of the central and southern Apennines valleys during interglacial phases, while later interglacial occupations were oriented towards the coastal plains, as attested by the numerous settlements of the Roma Basin (ca. 300 ka. Faunal remains indicate that human subsistence behaviours benefited from a diversity of exploitable ecosystems, from semi-open to closed environments. In central and southern Italy, several palynological records have already illustrated the regional- and local-scale vegetation dynamic trends. During the Middle Pleistocene climate cycles, mixed mesophytic forests developed during the interglacial periods and withdrew in response to increasing aridity during the glacial episodes. New pollen data from the Boiano Basin (Molise, Italy attest to the evolution of vegetation and climate between MIS 13 and 9 (ca. 500 to 300 ka. In this basin the persistence of high edaphic humidity, even during the glacial phases, could have favoured the establishment of a refuge area for the arboreal flora and provided subsistence resources for the animal and hominin communities

  11. Foreign Guests in Ancient Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zora Žbontar

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Xenía was a special relationship between a foreign guest and his host in Ancient Greece. The ritual of hosting a foreigner included an exchange of objects, feasting, and the establishment of friendship between people from different social backgrounds. This relationship implied trust, loyalty, friendship, and mutual aid between the people involved. Goods and services were also exchanged without any form of payment. There were no formal laws governing xenía – it was based entirely on a moral appeal. Mutual appreciation between the host and the guest was established during the ritual, but the host did retain a certain level of superiority over the guest. Xenía was one of the most important institutions in Ancient Greece. It had a lot of features and obligations similar to kinship and marriage. In literary sources the word xénos varies in meaning from “enemy stranger”, “friendly stranger”, “foreigner”, “guest”, “host” to “ritual friend”, and it is often hard to tell which usage is appropriate in a given passage. The paper describes the emphasis on hospitality towards foreigners. It presents an example of a depiction indicating xenía is presented, as well as several objects which were traded during the ritual. The paper also addresses the importance of hospitality in Greek drama in general, especially with examples of violations of the hospitality code.

  12. Chemical compositions of ancient coins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mabuchi, Hisao; Notsu, Kenji; Nishimatsu, Shigeyoshi; Fuwa, Keiichiro; Iyama, Hiroyuki.

    1979-01-01

    Chemical composition of ancient coins may be useful to know the provenance of raw ore materials, technique of minting, route of circulation, and governmental policy or economical conditions of the epoch when they were minted. Thirteen elements (major: Cu, Pb, Sn, Zn, minor: Fe, As, Sb, trace: Co, Mn, Ni, Au, Ag, Se) in Chinese and Japanese ancient coins were determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy and instrumental neutron activation analysis. The results show that, in both Chinese and Japanese coins, a transition from Cu-Pb-Sn system to Cu-Zn system occurred in the 15 -- 16 th century in China and in the 18 th century in Japan. Compositional ranges in Cu-Pb-Sn coins extend to 50 -- 80% Cu, 15 -- 35% Pb and 6 -- 15% Sn, respectively, and there seems to be no systematic compositional change with a function of their ages. As to the Cu-Zn coins, the Cu to Zn ratio of Chinese coins is distinctly different from that of Japanese ones, being about unity for Chinese coins and 4 for Japanese ones. In general, Japanese coins are much more abundant in As and Sb than Chinese ones. It is an important problem whether they are impurities of major elements or some components intentionally added in the course of minting. (author)

  13. Ancient Climatic Architectural Design Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasibeh Faghih

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Ancient climatic architecture had found out a series of appropriate responses for the best compatibility with the critical climate condition for instance, designing ‘earth sheltered houses’ and ‘courtyard houses’. They could provide human climatic comfort without excessive usage of fossil fuel resources. Owing to the normal thermal conditions in the ground depth, earth sheltered houses can be slightly affected by thermal fluctuations due to being within the earth. In depth further than 6.1 meters, temperature alternation is minute during the year, equaling to average annual temperature of outside. More to the point, courtyard buildings as another traditional design approach, have prepared controlled climatic space based on creating the maximum shade in the summer and maximum solar heat absorption in the winter. The courtyard houses served the multiple functions of lighting to the rooms, acting as a heat absorber in the summer and a radiator in the winter, as well as providing an open space inside for community activities. It must be noted that they divided into summer and winter zones located in south and north of the central courtyard where residents were replaced into them according to changing the seasons. Therefore, Ancient climatic buildings provided better human thermal comfort in comparison with the use contemporary buildings of recent years, except with the air conditioning

  14. Evolution and dispersal of the genus Homo: A landscape approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Isabelle C; Devès, Maud H; King, Geoffrey C P; Bailey, Geoffrey N; Inglis, Robyn H; Meredith-Williams, Matthew

    2015-10-01

    The notion of the physical landscape as an arena of ecological interaction and human evolution is a powerful one, but its implementation at larger geographical and temporal scales is hampered by the challenges of reconstructing physical landscape settings in the geologically active regions where the earliest evidence is concentrated. We argue that the inherently dynamic nature of these unstable landscapes has made them important agents of biological change, creating complex topographies capable of selecting for, stimulating, obstructing or accelerating the latent and emerging properties of the human evolutionary trajectory. We use this approach, drawing on the concepts and methods of active tectonics, to develop a new perspective on the origins and dispersal of the Homo genus. We show how complex topography provides an easy evolutionary pathway to full terrestrialisation in the African context, and would have further equipped members of the genus Homo with a suite of adaptive characteristics that facilitated wide-ranging dispersal across ecological and climatic boundaries into Europe and Asia by following pathways of complex topography. We compare this hypothesis with alternative explanations for hominin dispersal, and evaluate it by mapping the distribution of topographic features at varying scales, and comparing the distribution of early Homo sites with the resulting maps and with other environmental variables. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. [Light and blindness in ancient Egypt].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria Rosso, Ana

    2010-01-01

    In Ancient Egypt, light and fire, which were closely related to the Sun God Ra, were the sources of life and well-being, while the dark meant danger and death. Similar to death, darkness drops on human beings in deep sleep and they enter a space inhabited by shadows. Dreams were believed to reveal an unknown world, to give the sleeper a glimpse into the future. Vision attracts distant objects and their light, on the other hand, can hurt the eyes like a burning flame. Eyes were the most important organ in Egyptian thought, as they allowed perception of the real world. Their importance has been immortalised in the myth of the Eye of Horus that explains the role of either eye. One represents the moonlight, which disperses the darkness of the night, and the other represents the sunshine, which creates life, and both could also represents the power of human intellect. Blindness, in turn, congenital or disease-related, was considered a divine punishment. A man, thus handicapped, would sink in a state of uncertainty and darkness. To protect the eyes from blindness, people used drops and ointments, which were believed to chase away all kinds of insects and demons that threatened with a variety of eye infections. Egyptian eye doctors or physicians, carried a special kit that contained green chrysocolla and a black kohl makeup, highly appreciated as prophylaxis because they personified Osiris' humours or body fluids. These products were offered to Gods to restore the brightness of divine glance and incite sun and moon to spread their beneficial light.

  16. A guide to ancient protein studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendy, Jessica; Welker, Frido; Demarchi, Beatrice

    2018-01-01

    the phylogenetic reconstruction of extinct species to the investigation of past human diets and ancient diseases. However, there is no explicit consensus at present regarding standards for data reporting, data validation measures or the use of suitable contamination controls in ancient protein studies...

  17. On Ancient Babylonian Algebra and Geometry

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Introduction. In an earlier article [1] we had discussed some aspects of ancient Babylonian mathematics as deciphered froIn various clay tablets excavated from modern Iraq, viz. the Pythagoras theorem and also the sexagesimal num- ber system prevalent during the ancient Mesopotamian civilization. In this article, we study ...

  18. Attitudes Toward Deviant Sex in Ancient Mesopotamia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullough, Vern L.

    1971-01-01

    The article concludes that the whole question of sexual life in ancient Mesopotamia is difficult to reconstruct and fraught with many uncertainties. Nevertheless, it seems certain that the ancient Mesopotamians had fewer prohibitions against sex than our own civilization, and regarded as acceptable many practices which later societies condemned.…

  19. Chronostratigraphy of KNM-ER 3733 and other Area 104 hominins from Koobi Fora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepre, Christopher J; Kent, Dennis V

    2015-09-01

    A magnetostratigraphy for ∼ 60 m of Koobi Fora Formation sediment in Area 104 was derived from 46 oriented samples that produced well-resolved characteristic magnetizations from progressive thermal demagnetization. Approximately 59 m below the Morte Tuff, previously dated to ∼ 1.51 Ma (millions of years ago), the Olduvai-Matuyama boundary (∼ 1.78 Ma) was found to be at the level of marker bed A2--inconsistent with the Area 102 type section and thus contrary to fossil dating schemes that utilize temporal equivalence between A2 [104] and A2 [102]. The magnetostratigraphic data, coupled with the Morte Tuff, provide a means to interpolate new ages for marker beds A2 [104] and the White Tuff, as well as multiple Area 104 hominin fossils. Noteworthy is the new date of ∼ 1.63 Ma for KNM-ER 3733, which now implicates KNM-ER 2598 as the sole early African Homo erectus fossil demonstrably older than Dmanisi and Java Homo specimens. Re-dating KNM-ER 3733 creates a ∼ 300-kyr gap at 1.9 to 1.6 Ma in the African fossil record of H. erectus, which might be partially spanned by hand axes recently dated at ∼ 1.76 Ma, if the Acheulian is indeed proprietary to this species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Ecomorphology of radii in Canidae: Application to fragmentary fossils from Plio-Pleistocene hominin assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Meloro

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Fragmentary long bone material from fossil Carnivora is rarely considered to support palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. Here, we use morphometry of the radius in extant carnivorans of the dog family (Canidae to reconstruct the palaeobiology of extinct canids from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania (Bed I and II and Koobi Fora, Kenya. We use radius morphometrics to predict adaptation to prey size and introduce a new method for quantifying canid habitat adaptations based on the geographic distributions of the extant species sampled. Linear Discriminant Function Analyses (DFA and cluster neighbour-joining algorithms are employed to investigate radial morphometrics as described by 29 linear measurements. Results of our analyses suggest that a phylogenetic signal is present in radial morphometrics, even if it does not allow us to accurately discriminate among genera. A binary prey size categorisation of “small-medium” versus “large” prey can be more accurately predicted than a habitat categorisation scheme (Open, Mixed, Closed. The East African fossil specimens examined show morphometric affinities with the golden jackal (Canis aureus and coyote (Canis latrans and are likely attributable to the genus Canis. Fragmentary fossil specimens from Olduvai Gorge are predicted as habitat generalists (Open for Bed I and Mixed for Bed II adapted for hunting small-medium prey, whereas the specimen from Koobi Fora was predicted as inhabiting mixed habitats and adapted for killing large prey. This study supports the inclusion of fossil Canidae in palaeoecological analyses attempting to clarify the palaeoenvironment of early hominin fossil sites.

  1. Hypothesis: brain size and skull shape as criteria for a new hominin family tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chardin, Pierre

    2014-10-01

    Today, gorillas and chimpanzees live in tropical forests, where acid soils do not favor fossilization. It is thus widely believed that there are no fossils of chimpanzees or gorillas. However, four teeth of a 0.5-million-year (Ma)-old chimpanzee were discovered in the rift valley of Kenya (McBrearty and Jablonski, 2005), and a handful of teeth of a 10-Ma-old gorilla-like creature were found in Ethiopia (Suwa et al., 2007), close to the major sites of Homo discoveries. These discoveries indicate that chimpanzees and gorillas once shared their range with early Homo. However, the thousands of hominin fossils discovered in the past century have all been attributed to the Homo line. Thus far, our family tree looks like a bush with many dead-branches. If one admits the possibility that the australopithecines can also be the ancestors of African great apes, one can place Paranthropus on the side of gorilla ancestors and divide the remaining Australopithecus based on the brain size into the two main lines of humans and chimpanzees, thereby resulting in a coherent family tree. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  2. New actualistic data on the ecology and energetics of hominin scavenging opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pobiner, Briana L

    2015-03-01

    For decades, the 'hunting-scavenging debate' has been an important research focus in Plio-Pleistocene hominin behavioral ecology. Here I present new data on potential scavenging opportunities from fresh carnivore kills on a conservancy in central Kenya. This ecosystem is dominated by felids (mainly lions) and has a different carnivore guild than in many earlier studies of scavenging opportunities that took place in areas such as Ngorongoro and Serengeti in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya, where lions face high levels of inter-specific competition from bone-crunching hyenas. I found that while scavenging opportunities vary among carcasses, most carcasses retained some scavengeable resources. Excluding within-bone resources, even the scavengeable meat on 'defleshed' larger sized prey carcasses is usually substantial enough to meet the total daily caloric requirements of at least one adult male Homo erectus individual. I argue, as others have before me, that scavenging opportunities in a particular ecosystem will vary in part due to carnivore taxon, density and guild composition; prey size, biomass and community structure; and habitat (e.g., vegetation, physiography). We should expect variability in scavenging opportunities in different locales and should focus our research efforts on identifying which variables condition these differences in order to make our findings applicable to the diversity of ecological settings characterizing the past. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. An ontogenetic framework linking locomotion and trabecular bone architecture with applications for reconstructing hominin life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raichlen, David A; Gordon, Adam D; Foster, Adam D; Webber, James T; Sukhdeo, Simone M; Scott, Robert S; Gosman, James H; Ryan, Timothy M

    2015-04-01

    The ontogeny of bipedal walking is considered uniquely challenging, due in part to the balance requirements of single limb support. Thus, locomotor development in humans and our bipedal ancestors may track developmental milestones including the maturation of the neuromuscular control system. Here, we examined the ontogeny of locomotor mechanics in children aged 1-8, and bone growth and development in an age-matched skeletal sample to identify bony markers of locomotor development. We show that step-to-step variation in mediolateral tibia angle relative to the vertical decreases with age, an indication that older children increase stability. Analyses of trabecular bone architecture in the distal tibia of an age-matched skeletal sample (the Norris Farms #36 archaeological skeletal collection) show a bony signal of this shift in locomotor stability. Using a grid of eleven cubic volumes of interest (VOI) in the distal metaphysis of each tibia, we show that the degree of anisotropy (DA) of trabecular struts changes with age. Intra-individual variation in DA across these VOIs is generally high at young ages, likely reflecting variation in loading due to kinematic instability. With increasing age, mean DA converges on higher values and becomes less variable across the distal tibia. We believe the ontogeny of distal tibia trabecular architecture reflects the development of locomotor stability in bipeds. We suggest this novel bony marker of development may be used to assess the relationship between locomotor development and other life history milestones in fossil hominins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Variability in an early hominin percussive tradition: the Acheulean versus cultural variation in modern chimpanzee artefacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowlett, J A J

    2015-11-19

    Percussion makes a vital link between the activities of early human ancestors and other animals in tool-use and tool-making. Far more of the early human actions are preserved as archaeology, since the percussion was largely used for making hard tools of stone, rather than for direct access to food. Both primate tools and early hominin tools, however, offer a means to exploring variability in material culture, a strong focus of interest in recent primate studies. This paper charts such variability in the Acheulean, the longest-lasting tool tradition, extant form about 1.7 to about 0.1 Ma, and well known for its characteristic handaxes. The paper concentrates on the African record, although the Acheulean was also known in Europe and Asia. It uses principal components and discriminant analysis to examine the measurements from 66 assemblages (whole toolkits), and from 18 sets of handaxes. Its review of evidence confirms that there is deep-seated pattern in the variation, with variability within a site complex often matching or exceeding that between sites far distant in space and time. Current techniques of study allow comparisons of handaxes far more easily than for other components, stressing a need to develop common practice in measurement and analysis. The data suggest, however, that a higher proportion of traits recurs widely in Acheulean toolkits than in the chimpanzee record. © 2015 The Author(s).

  5. Intraspecies variation in BMR does not affect estimates of early hominin total daily energy expenditure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froehle, Andrew W; Schoeninger, Margaret J

    2006-12-01

    We conducted a meta-analysis of 45 studies reporting basal metabolic rate (BMR) data for Homo sapiens and Pan troglodytes to determine the effects of sex, age, and latitude (a proxy for climate, in humans only). BMR was normalized for body size using fat-free mass in humans and body mass in chimpanzees. We found no effect of sex in either species and no age effect in chimpanzees. In humans, juveniles differed significantly from adults (ANCOVA: P BMR and body size, and used them to predict total daily energy expenditure (TEE) in four early hominin species. Our predictions concur with previous TEE estimates (i.e. Leonard and Robertson: Am J Phys Anthropol 102 (1997) 265-281), and support the conclusion that TEE increased greatly with H. erectus. Our results show that intraspecific variation in BMR does not affect TEE estimates for interspecific comparisons. Comparisons of more closely related groups such as humans and Neandertals, however, may benefit from consideration of this variation. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Fossil Carder Bee's Nest from the Hominin Locality of Taung, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer F Parker

    Full Text Available The Buxton-Norlim Limeworks southwest of Taung, South Africa, is renowned for the discovery of the first Australopithecus africanus fossil, the 'Taung Child'. The hominin was recovered from a distinctive pink calcrete that contains an abundance of invertebrate ichnofauna belonging to the Coprinisphaera ichnofacies. Here we describe the first fossil bee's nest, attributed to the ichnogenus Celliforma, from the Plio-Pleistocene of Africa. Petrographic examination of a cell lining revealed the preservation of an intricate organic matrix lined with the calcitic casts of numerous plant trichomes-a nesting behaviour unique to the modern-day carder bees (Anthidiini. The presence of Celliforma considered alongside several other recorded ichnofossils can be indicative of a dry, savannah environment, in agreement with recent work on the palaeoenvironment of Plio-Pleistocene southern Africa. Moreover, the occurrence of ground-nesting bees provides further evidence that the pink calcrete deposits are of pedogenic origin, rather than speleogenic origin as has previously been assumed. This study demonstrates the potential value of insect trace fossils as palaeoenvironmental indicators.

  7. Craniofacial modularity, character analysis, and the evolution of the premaxilla in early African hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villmoare, Brian A; Dunmore, Christopher; Kilpatrick, Shaun; Oertelt, Nadja; Depew, Michael J; Fish, Jennifer L

    2014-12-01

    Phylogenetic analyses require evolutionarily independent characters, but there is no consensus, nor has there been a clear methodology presented on how to define character independence in a phylogenetic context, particularly within a complex morphological structure such as the skull. Following from studies of craniofacial development, we hypothesize that the premaxilla is an independent evolutionary module with two integrated characters that have traditionally been treated as independent. We test this hypothesis on a large sample of primate skulls and find evidence supporting the premaxilla as an independent module within the larger module of the palate. Additionally, our data indicate that the convexity of the nasoalveolar clivus and the contour of the alveolus are integrated within the premaxilla. We show that the palate itself is composed of two distinct modules: the FNP-derived premaxillae and the mxBA1-derived maxillae and palatines. Application of our data to early African hominin facial morphology suggests that at least three separate transitions contributed to robust facial morphology: 1) an increase in the size of the post-canine dentition housed within the maxillae and palatines, 2) modification of the premaxilla generating a concave clivus and reduced incisor alveolus, and 3) modification of the zygomatic, shifting the zygomatic root and lateral face anteriorly. These data lend support to the monophyly of Paranthropus boisei and Paranthropus robustus, and provide mounting evidence in favor of a Paranthropus clade. This study also highlights the utility of applying developmental evidence to studies of morphological evolution. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Olduvai Hominin 8 foot pathology: a comparative study attempting a differential diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Elizabeth

    2012-02-01

    Olduvai Hominin (OH) 8, a 1.76 million year old left foot skeleton, has osteophytic lipping on the metatarsal bases, which when compared to a modern sample, may help paleoanthropologists determine whether the foot bones represent an injured subadult or an osteoarthritic adult. This study compares the OH 8 lipping pattern to those of 140 individual Amerindians comprising four different age classes to determine whether the OH 8 lipping is likely to be age-related osteoarthritis. OH 8 metatarsal lipping followed a pattern similar to that determined in the comparative sample to be age-related osteoarthritis. Similarities include metatarsal base lipping that is frequently located on the dorsal surface, metatarsal base lipping that is more severe on the lateral metatarsals compared to the medial metatarsals, and the presence of a pseudojoint between metatarsal 1 and metatarsal 2. The chance of finding an individual with osteoarthritis lipping increases from 3.45% in the age group 18-22 years to 55% in individuals over 35 years. The chance of finding a pseudojoint increases from 1.32% in non-osteoarthritic individuals to 15.15% in individuals with osteoarthritis. Results from this study indicate that the OH 8 foot bones are most likely from an adult and more likely to belong to Paranthropus boisei, the skull of which was found in the same excavations with OH 8, than to the juvenile Homo habilis holotype. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Testing Dietary Hypotheses of East African Hominines Using Buccal Dental Microwear Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Laura Mónica; Estebaranz-Sánchez, Ferran; Galbany, Jordi; Pérez-Pérez, Alejandro

    2016-01-01

    There is much debate on the dietary adaptations of the robust hominin lineages during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition. It has been argued that the shift from C3 to C4 ecosystems in Africa was the main factor responsible for the robust dental and facial anatomical adaptations of Paranthropus taxa, which might be indicative of the consumption of fibrous, abrasive plant foods in open environments. However, occlusal dental microwear data fail to provide evidence of such dietary adaptations and are not consistent with isotopic evidence that supports greater C4 food intake for the robust clades than for the gracile australopithecines. We provide evidence from buccal dental microwear data that supports softer dietary habits than expected for P. aethiopicus and P. boisei based both on masticatory apomorphies and isotopic analyses. On one hand, striation densities on the buccal enamel surfaces of paranthropines teeth are low, resembling those of H. habilis and clearly differing from those observed on H. ergaster, which display higher scratch densities indicative of the consumption of a wide assortment of highly abrasive foodstuffs. Buccal dental microwear patterns are consistent with those previously described for occlusal enamel surfaces, suggesting that Paranthropus consumed much softer diets than previously presumed and thus calling into question a strict interpretation of isotopic evidence. On the other hand, the significantly high buccal scratch densities observed in the H. ergaster specimens are not consistent with a highly specialized, mostly carnivorous diet; instead, they support the consumption of a wide range of highly abrasive food items.

  10. Testing Dietary Hypotheses of East African Hominines Using Buccal Dental Microwear Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Mónica Martínez

    Full Text Available There is much debate on the dietary adaptations of the robust hominin lineages during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition. It has been argued that the shift from C3 to C4 ecosystems in Africa was the main factor responsible for the robust dental and facial anatomical adaptations of Paranthropus taxa, which might be indicative of the consumption of fibrous, abrasive plant foods in open environments. However, occlusal dental microwear data fail to provide evidence of such dietary adaptations and are not consistent with isotopic evidence that supports greater C4 food intake for the robust clades than for the gracile australopithecines. We provide evidence from buccal dental microwear data that supports softer dietary habits than expected for P. aethiopicus and P. boisei based both on masticatory apomorphies and isotopic analyses. On one hand, striation densities on the buccal enamel surfaces of paranthropines teeth are low, resembling those of H. habilis and clearly differing from those observed on H. ergaster, which display higher scratch densities indicative of the consumption of a wide assortment of highly abrasive foodstuffs. Buccal dental microwear patterns are consistent with those previously described for occlusal enamel surfaces, suggesting that Paranthropus consumed much softer diets than previously presumed and thus calling into question a strict interpretation of isotopic evidence. On the other hand, the significantly high buccal scratch densities observed in the H. ergaster specimens are not consistent with a highly specialized, mostly carnivorous diet; instead, they support the consumption of a wide range of highly abrasive food items.

  11. Manual Loading Distribution During Carrying Behaviors: Implications for the Evolution of the Hominin Hand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Key, Alastair J M

    2016-01-01

    The human hand is unparalleled amongst primates in its ability to manipulate objects forcefully and dexterously. Previous research has predominantly sought to explain the evolution of these capabilities through an adaptive relationship between more modern human-like anatomical features in the upper limb and increased stone tool production and use proficiency. To date, however, we know little about the influence that other manipulatively demanding behaviors may have had upon the evolution of the human hand. The present study addresses one aspect of this deficiency by examining the recruitment of the distal phalanges during a range of manual transportation (i.e., carrying) events related to hominin behavioral repertoires during the Plio-Pleistocene. Specifically, forces on the volar pad of each digit are recorded during the transportation of stones and wooden branches that vary in weight and size. Results indicate that in most instances, the index and middle fingers are recruited to a significantly greater extent than the other three digits during carrying events. Relative force differences between digits were, however, dependent upon the size and weight of the object transported. Carrying behaviors therefore appear unlikely to have contributed to the evolution of the robust thumb anatomy observed in the human hand. Rather, results suggest that the manual transportation of objects may plausibly have influenced the evolution of the human gripping capabilities and the 3rd metacarpal styloid process.

  12. Enamel hypoplasias and physiological stress in the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, E; Rozzi, F Ramirez; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Martinón-Torres, M; Wasterlain, S N; Sarmiento, S

    2004-11-01

    This study presents an analysis of linear enamel hypoplasias (LEH) and plane-form defects (PFD) in the hominine dental sample from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene site in Atapuerca (Spain). The SH sample comprises 475 teeth, 467 permanent and 8 deciduous, belonging to a minimum of 28 individuals. The method for recording PFD and LEH is discussed, as well as the definition of LEH. The prevalence of LEH and PFD in SH permanent dentition (unilateral total count) is 4.6% (13/280). Only one deciduous tooth (lower dc) showed an enamel disruption. Prevalence by individual ranges from 18.7-30%. The most likely explanation for the relatively low LEH and PFD prevalence in the SH sample suggests that the SH population exhibited a low level of developmental stress. The age at occurrence of LEH and PFD was determined by counting the number of perikymata between each lesion and the cervix of the tooth. Assuming a periodicity of nine days for the incremental lines, the majority of LEH in the SH sample occurred during the third year of life and may be related to the metabolic stress associated with weaning.

  13. Embodied niche construction in the hominin lineage: semiotic structure and sustained attention in human embodied cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutz, Aaron J.

    2014-01-01

    Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC) hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment. PMID:25136323

  14. Embodied niche construction in the hominin lineage: semiotic structure and sustained attention in human embodied cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutz, Aaron J

    2014-01-01

    Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC) hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment.

  15. Social organization and the evolution of cumulative technology in apes and hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Gauri R; Tennie, Claudio; van Schaik, Carel P

    2012-07-01

    Culturally supported accumulation (or ratcheting) of technological complexity is widely seen as characterizing hominin technology relative to that of the extant great apes, and thus as representing a threshold in cultural evolution. To explain this divide, we modeled the process of cultural accumulation of technology, which we defined as adding new actions to existing ones to create new functional combinations, based on a model for great ape tool use. The model shows that intraspecific and interspecific variation in the presence of simple and cumulative technology among extant orangutans and chimpanzees is largely due to variation in sociability, and hence opportunities for social learning. The model also suggests that the adoption of extensive allomaternal care (cooperative breeding) in early Pleistocene Homo, which led to an increase in sociability and to teaching, and hence increased efficiency of social learning, was enough to facilitate technological ratcheting. Hence, socioecological changes, rather than advances in cognitive abilities, can account for the cumulative cultural changes seen until the origin of the Acheulean. The consequent increase in the reliance on technology could have served as the pacemaker for increased cognitive abilities. Our results also suggest that a more important watershed in cultural evolution was the rise of donated culture (technology or concepts), in which technology or concepts was transferred to naïve individuals, allowing them to skip many learning steps, and specialization arose, which allowed individuals to learn only a subset of the population's skills. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mechanisms in ancient Chinese books with illustrations

    CERN Document Server

    Hsiao, Kuo-Hung

    2014-01-01

    This book presents a unique approach for studying mechanisms and machines with drawings that were depicted unclearly in ancient Chinese books. The historical, cultural and technical backgrounds of the mechanisms are explained, and various mechanisms described and illustrated in ancient books are introduced. By utilizing the idea for the conceptual design of modern mechanisms, all feasible designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain members and joints that meet the technical standards of the subjects’ time periods are synthesized systematically. Ancient Chinese crossbows (the original crossbow and repeating crossbows), textile mechanisms (silk-reeling mechanism, spinning mechanisms, and looms), and many other artisan's tool mechanisms are used as illustrated examples.  Such an approach provides a logical method for the reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures. It also provides an innovative direction for researchers to further identify the original structures of mechanisms...

  17. Phylogenetic estimation of timescales using ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molak, Martyna; Lorenzen, Eline; Shapiro, Beth

    2013-01-01

    analyses of ancient DNA. We also investigated the sample size and temporal span of the ancient DNA sequences needed to estimate phylogenetic timescales reliably. Our results show that the range of sample ages plays a crucial role in determining the quality of the results but that accurate and precise......In recent years, ancient DNA has increasingly been used for estimating molecular timescales, particularly in studies of substitution rates and demographic histories. Molecular clocks can be calibrated using temporal information from ancient DNA sequences. This information comes from the ages...... of the ancient samples, which can be estimated by radiocarbon dating the source material or by dating the layers in which the material was deposited. Both methods involve sources of uncertainty. The performance of Bayesian phylogenetic inference depends on the information content of the data set, which includes...

  18. New high-resolution computed tomography data of the Taung partial cranium and endocast and their bearing on metopism and hominin brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Ralph L; Broadfield, Douglas C; Carlson, Kristian J

    2014-09-09

    Falk and colleagues [Falk D, Zollikofer CP, Morimoto N, Ponce de León MS (2012) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(22):8467-8470] hypothesized that selective pressures favored late persistence of a metopic suture and open anterior fontanelle early in hominin evolution, and they put an emphasis on the Taung Child (Australopithecus africanus) as evidence for the antiquity of these adaptive features. They suggested three mutually nonexclusive pressures: an "obstetric dilemma," high early postnatal brain growth rates, and neural reorganization in the frontal cortex. To test this hypothesis, we obtained the first high-resolution computed tomography (CT) data from the Taung hominin. These high-resolution image data and an examination of the hominin fossil record do not support the metopic and fontanelle features proposed by Falk and colleagues. Although a possible remnant of the metopic suture is observed in the nasion-glabella region of the Taung partial cranium (but not along the frontal crest), this character state is incongruent with the zipper model of metopic closure described by Falk and colleagues. Nor do chimpanzee and bonobo endocast data support the assertion that delayed metopic closure in Taung is necessary because of widening (reorganization) of the prefrontal or frontal cortex. These results call into question the adaptive value of delaying metopic closure, and particularly its antiquity in hominin evolution. Further data from hominoids and hominins are required to support the proposed adaptive arguments, particularly an obstetric dilemma placing constraints on neural and cranial development in Australopithecus.

  19. Use DNA to learn from the past: how modern and ancient DNA studies may help reveal the past and predict the future distribution of species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, M. E.; Alsos, I. G.; Sjögren, P.; Coissac, E.; Gielly, L.; Yoccoz, N.; Føreid, M. K.; Taberlet, P.

    2015-12-01

    Knowledge of how climate change affected species distribution in the past may help us predict the effect of ongoing environmental changes. We explore how the use of modern (AFLP fingerprinting techniques) and ancient DNA (metabarcoding P6 loop of chloroplast DNA) help to reveal past distribution of vascular plant species, dispersal processes, and effect of species traits. Based on studies of modern DNA combined with species distribution models, we show the dispersal routes and barriers to dispersal throughout the circumarctic/circumboreal region, likely dispersal vectors, the cost of dispersal in term of loss of genetic diversity, and how these relates to species traits, dispersal distance, and size of colonized region. We also estimate the expected future distribution and loss of genetic diversity and show how this relates to life form and adaptations to dispersal. To gain more knowledge on time lags in past range change events, we rely on palaeorecords. Current data on past distribution are limited by the taxonomic and time resolution of macrofossil and pollen records. We show how this may be improved by studying ancient DNA of lake sediments. DNA of lake sediments recorded about half of the flora surrounding the lake. Compared to macrofossil, the taxonomic resolution is similar but the detection rate is considerable improved. By taking into account main determinants of founder effect, dispersal vectors, and dispersal lags, we may improve our ability to forecast effects of climate change, whereas more studies on ancient DNA may provide us with knowledge on distribution time lags.

  20. Limited contribution of ancient methane to surface waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparrow, Katy J.; Kessler, John D.; Southon, John R.; Garcia-Tigreros, Fenix; Schreiner, Kathryn M.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Miller, John B.; Lehman, Scott J.; Xu, Xiaomei

    2018-01-01

    In response to warming climate, methane can be released to Arctic Ocean sediment and waters from thawing subsea permafrost and decomposing methane hydrates. However, it is unknown whether methane derived from this sediment storehouse of frozen ancient carbon reaches the atmosphere. We quantified the fraction of methane derived from ancient sources in shelf waters of the U.S. Beaufort Sea, a region that has both permafrost and methane hydrates and is experiencing significant warming. Although the radiocarbon-methane analyses indicate that ancient carbon is being mobilized and emitted as methane into shelf bottom waters, surprisingly, we find that methane in surface waters is principally derived from modern-aged carbon. We report that at and beyond approximately the 30-m isobath, ancient sources that dominate in deep waters contribute, at most, 10 ± 3% of the surface water methane. These results suggest that even if there is a heightened liberation of ancient carbon–sourced methane as climate change proceeds, oceanic oxidation and dispersion processes can strongly limit its emission to the atmosphere.

  1. ‘Do larger molars and robust jaws in early hominins represent dietary adaptation?’ A New Study in Tooth Wear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Frances Clement

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Diet imposes significant constraints on the biology and behaviour of animals. The fossil record suggests that key changes in diet have taken place throughout the course of human evolution. Defining these changes enables us to understand the behaviour of our extinct fossil ancestors. Several lines of evidence are available for studying the diet of early hominins, including craniodental morphology, palaeoecology, dental microwear and stable isotopes. They do, however, often provide conflicting results. Using dental macrowear analysis, this new UCL Institute of Archaeology project will provide an alternative source of information on early hominin diet. Dental macrowear has often been used to analyse diet in archaeological populations, but this will be the first time that this type of detailed study has been applied to the early hominin fossil record.

  2. Measure, Then Show: Grasping Human Evolution Through an Inquiry-Based, Data-driven Hominin Skulls Lab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Chris N; Luberda, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Incomprehension and denial of the theory of evolution among high school students has been observed to also occur when teachers are not equipped to deliver a compelling case also for human evolution based on fossil evidence. This paper assesses the outcomes of a novel inquiry-based paleoanthropology lab teaching human evolution to high-school students. The inquiry-based Be a Paleoanthropologist for a Day lab placed a dozen hominin skulls into the hands of high-school students. Upon measuring three variables of human evolution, students explain what they have observed and discuss findings. In the 2013/14 school year, 11 biology classes in 7 schools in the Greater New Orleans area participated in this lab. The interviewed teacher cohort unanimously agreed that the lab featuring hominin skull replicas and stimulating student inquiry was a pedagogically excellent method of delivering the subject of human evolution. First, the lab's learning path of transforming facts to data, information to knowledge, and knowledge to acceptance empowered students to themselves execute part of the science that underpins our understanding of deep time hominin evolution. Second, although challenging, the hands-on format of the lab was accessible to high-school students, most of whom were readily able to engage the lab's scientific process. Third, the lab's exciting and compelling pedagogy unlocked higher order thinking skills, effectively activating the cognitive, psychomotor and affected learning domains as defined in Bloom's taxonomy. Lastly, the lab afforded students a formative experience with a high degree of retention and epistemic depth. Further study is warranted to gauge the degree of these effects.

  3. Early Pleistocene hominin deciduous teeth from the Homo antecessor Gran Dolina-TD6 bearing level (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Martín-Francés, Laura; Martínez de Pinillos, Marina; Modesto-Mata, Mario; García-Campos, Cecilia; Wu, Xiujie; Xing, Song; Liu, Wu

    2017-07-01

    During the last 13 years, the late Early Pleistocene Gran Dolina-TD6-2 level (Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain) has yielded an additional sample of 26 dental specimens attributed to Homo antecessor. In this report, we present a descriptive and comparative study of the six deciduous teeth. We provide external and internal morphological descriptions following classical terminology, as well as the mesiodistal and buccolingual measurements of the teeth. The internal morphology was described by means of micro-CT technique. The TD6 deciduous teeth preserve primitive features regarding the Homo clade, such as the presence of styles in lower and upper canines and developed anterior and posterior foveae in the dm 2 . However, other features related to the complexity of the crown morphology (e.g., cingulum) are not present in this sample. Furthermore, the great reduction of the talonid of the dm 1 s is also noteworthy. Despite the limited comparative evidence, the presence of a remarkably well-developed tuberculum molare in the dm 1 and dm 1 s from TD6 can be also considered a derived feature in the genus Homo. The TD6 hominins exhibit dental dimensions similar to those of other Pleistocene hominins. The dm 1 s are buccolingually elongated and the buccolingual diameter of ATD6-93 is the largest recorded so far in the Homo fossil record. This study expands the list of plesiomorphic features of H. antecessor, and provides some information on the evolutionary status of this species. However, the identification of some advanced traits evinces a step towards the derived morphology of European Pleistocene teeth. The study of the deciduous dentition confirms the mosaic pattern of H. antecessor morphology revealed in previous studies of this hominin sample. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Measure, Then Show: Grasping Human Evolution Through an Inquiry-Based, Data-driven Hominin Skulls Lab.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris N Bayer

    Full Text Available Incomprehension and denial of the theory of evolution among high school students has been observed to also occur when teachers are not equipped to deliver a compelling case also for human evolution based on fossil evidence. This paper assesses the outcomes of a novel inquiry-based paleoanthropology lab teaching human evolution to high-school students. The inquiry-based Be a Paleoanthropologist for a Day lab placed a dozen hominin skulls into the hands of high-school students. Upon measuring three variables of human evolution, students explain what they have observed and discuss findings. In the 2013/14 school year, 11 biology classes in 7 schools in the Greater New Orleans area participated in this lab. The interviewed teacher cohort unanimously agreed that the lab featuring hominin skull replicas and stimulating student inquiry was a pedagogically excellent method of delivering the subject of human evolution. First, the lab's learning path of transforming facts to data, information to knowledge, and knowledge to acceptance empowered students to themselves execute part of the science that underpins our understanding of deep time hominin evolution. Second, although challenging, the hands-on format of the lab was accessible to high-school students, most of whom were readily able to engage the lab's scientific process. Third, the lab's exciting and compelling pedagogy unlocked higher order thinking skills, effectively activating the cognitive, psychomotor and affected learning domains as defined in Bloom's taxonomy. Lastly, the lab afforded students a formative experience with a high degree of retention and epistemic depth. Further study is warranted to gauge the degree of these effects.

  5. Measure, Then Show: Grasping Human Evolution Through an Inquiry-Based, Data-driven Hominin Skulls Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luberda, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Incomprehension and denial of the theory of evolution among high school students has been observed to also occur when teachers are not equipped to deliver a compelling case also for human evolution based on fossil evidence. This paper assesses the outcomes of a novel inquiry-based paleoanthropology lab teaching human evolution to high-school students. The inquiry-based Be a Paleoanthropologist for a Day lab placed a dozen hominin skulls into the hands of high-school students. Upon measuring three variables of human evolution, students explain what they have observed and discuss findings. In the 2013/14 school year, 11 biology classes in 7 schools in the Greater New Orleans area participated in this lab. The interviewed teacher cohort unanimously agreed that the lab featuring hominin skull replicas and stimulating student inquiry was a pedagogically excellent method of delivering the subject of human evolution. First, the lab’s learning path of transforming facts to data, information to knowledge, and knowledge to acceptance empowered students to themselves execute part of the science that underpins our understanding of deep time hominin evolution. Second, although challenging, the hands-on format of the lab was accessible to high-school students, most of whom were readily able to engage the lab’s scientific process. Third, the lab’s exciting and compelling pedagogy unlocked higher order thinking skills, effectively activating the cognitive, psychomotor and affected learning domains as defined in Bloom’s taxonomy. Lastly, the lab afforded students a formative experience with a high degree of retention and epistemic depth. Further study is warranted to gauge the degree of these effects. PMID:27513927

  6. Truth Obviousness in Ancient Greek Philosophy

    OpenAIRE

    Halyna I. Budz

    2013-01-01

    The article examines the features of the axiomatic approach to the truth understanding in ancient Greek philosophy. Truth in the works by ancient philosophers has axiomatic essence, basing on divine origin of truth. As the truth has a divine origin, it is in reality. The reality, created by Gods is the solemn reality. Therefore, understanding of reality by man is the display of divine reality, which is true and clever. In of the context of ancient Greek philosophy, to know truth is to know so...

  7. Revised stratigraphy of Area 123, Koobi Fora, Kenya, and new age estimates of its fossil mammals, including hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathogo, Patrick N; Brown, Francis H

    2006-11-01

    Recent geologic study shows that all hominins and nearly all other published mammalian fossils from Paleontological Collection Area 123, Koobi Fora, Kenya, derive from levels between the KBS Tuff (1.87+/-0.02 Ma) and the Lower Ileret Tuff (1.53+/-0.01 Ma). More specifically, the fossils derive from 53 m of section below the Lower Ileret Tuff, an interval in which beds vary markedly laterally, especially those units containing molluscs and algal stromatolites. The upper Burgi Member (approximately 2.00-1.87 Ma) crops out only in the southwestern part of Area 123. Adjacent Area 110 contains larger exposures of the member, and there the KBS Tuff is preserved as an airfall ash in lacustrine deposits and also as a fluvially redeposited ash. We observed no mammalian fossils in situ in this member in Area 123, but surface specimens have been documented in some monographic treatments. Fossil hominins from Area 123 were attributed to strata above the KBS Tuff in the 1970s, but later they were assigned to strata below the KBS Tuff (now called the upper Burgi Member). This study definitively places the Area 123 hominins in the KBS Member. Most of these hominins are between 1.60 and 1.65 myr in age, but the youngest may date to only 1.53 Ma, and the oldest, to 1.75 Ma. All are 0.15-0.30 myr younger than previously estimated. The new age estimates, in conjunction with published taxonomic attributions of fossils, suggest that at least two species of Homo coexisted in the region along with A. boisei until at least 1.65 Ma. Comparison of crania KNM-ER 1813 and KNM-ER 1470, which were believed to be of comparable age, is at the focus of the debate over whether Homo habilis sensu lato is in fact composed of two species: Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis. These two crania are separated in time by approximately 0.25 myr, and therefore, arguments for their conspecificity no longer need to confront the issue of unusually high contemporaneous variation within a single species.

  8. Using Isotopes to Reconstruct Mammalian Diet, Migration and Paleoenvironment for Hominin Sites in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wershow, H.; Janssen, R.; Vonhof, H.; Lubbe, J. V. D.; Joordens, J. J.; Koutamanis, D. S.; Puspaningrum, M. R.; de Vos, J.; Reijmer, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate plays a prominent role in ecosystem development in the biodiversity hotspot Sundaland (Malaysia and western Indonesia) throughout the Quaternary. Recurrent isolation and connection of the islands to mainland Asia due to sea level fluctuations has enabled repeated biotic migrations and encouraged genetic speciation. These migration waves also brought Homo erectus to Java. Together with extensive and well-documented collections of other terrestrial species, these hominin fossils form faunal assemblages of which the paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical background is poorly known. Using carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopes, we have reconstructed the paleoenvironmental and paleoecological conditions of several Holocene and Pleistocene fossil sites on Sumatra and Java, Indonesia. Carbon (∂13C) and oxygen (∂18O) isotope analysis of well-preserved herbivore teeth enamel reveals a marked contrast between C3-dominated diets in warmer periods, and C4-dominated diets in cooler periods, reflecting the distinct changes in Sundaland vegetation cover between glacials and interglacials. These isotope patterns allow us to assign the appropriate climatic background to some of the older fossil assemblages from Java, for which dating uncertainty does not allow direct assignment to glacial or interglacial conditions. The stable isotope signatures of herbivores from Trinil and Sangiran, sites well-known for the fossil occurrence of Homo erectus, indicate glacial conditions. The isotope data of several H. erectus fossils from these sites seem to be in line with such an interpretation. Furthermore, we applied strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analyses to a sample subset. The preliminary data show distinct Sr-isotope ratios for different sites, providing clues for the applicability of this isotope technique in detecting climate-related mobility of Sundaland fossil faunas.

  9. A comparative study of frontal bone morphology among Pleistocene hominin fossil groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athreya, Sheela

    2009-12-01

    Features of the frontal bone that are conventionally used to distinguish among fossil hominin groups were quantitatively examined. Fifty-five fossil crania dating from the early to the late Pleistocene were analyzed. Using a modified pantograph, outlines of the frontal bone were collected along the midsagittal and two parasagittal planes. The profile from nasion to bregma, as well as two profiles above the medial and lateral sections of the orbit, respectively, extending from the orbital margin to the coronal suture were traced. The outlines were measured using Elliptical Fourier Function Analysis (EFFA), which enabled a quantification of aspects of the frontal bone that have historically been described primarily in nonmetric or linear terms. Four measurements were obtained: 1) overall morphology as expressed in the Fourier harmonic amplitudes; 2) maximum projection of the supraorbital torus at three points along the browridge (glabella and the medial and lateral aspects of the torus above the orbit); 3) maximum distance of the frontal squama from the frontal chord, capturing forehead curvature; and 4) nasion-bregma chord length. The results indicate that the midsagittal profile is significantly different among all Pleistocene groups in analyses that include both size and shape, as well as size-adjusted data. Homo erectus is significantly different from the late Pleistocene groups (Neandertals and early modern H. sapiens) in glabellar projection. Anatomically modern humans are significantly different from all other groups in both raw and size-standardized analyses of all three outlines that captured overall morphology, as well as forehead curvature and lateral supraorbital torus prominence, and middle Pleistocene Homo are significantly different in both medial and lateral overall parasagittal form. However, for the majority of analyses there were no significant differences among the Pleistocene archaic groups in supraorbital torus projection, frontal squama

  10. Genomic Signatures of Selective Pressures and Introgression from Archaic Hominins at Human Innate Immunity Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deschamps, Matthieu; Laval, Guillaume; Fagny, Maud; Itan, Yuval; Abel, Laurent; Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Patin, Etienne; Quintana-Murci, Lluis

    2016-01-07

    Human genes governing innate immunity provide a valuable tool for the study of the selective pressure imposed by microorganisms on host genomes. A comprehensive, genome-wide study of how selective constraints and adaptations have driven the evolution of innate immunity genes is missing. Using full-genome sequence variation from the 1000 Genomes Project, we first show that innate immunity genes have globally evolved under stronger purifying selection than the remainder of protein-coding genes. We identify a gene set under the strongest selective constraints, mutations in which are likely to predispose individuals to life-threatening disease, as illustrated by STAT1 and TRAF3. We then evaluate the occurrence of local adaptation and detect 57 high-scoring signals of positive selection at innate immunity genes, variation in which has been associated with susceptibility to common infectious or autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, we show that most adaptations targeting coding variation have occurred in the last 6,000-13,000 years, the period at which populations shifted from hunting and gathering to farming. Finally, we show that innate immunity genes present higher Neandertal introgression than the remainder of the coding genome. Notably, among the genes presenting the highest Neandertal ancestry, we find the TLR6-TLR1-TLR10 cluster, which also contains functional adaptive variation in Europeans. This study identifies highly constrained genes that fulfill essential, non-redundant functions in host survival and reveals others that are more permissive to change-containing variation acquired from archaic hominins or adaptive variants in specific populations-improving our understanding of the relative biological importance of innate immunity pathways in natural conditions. Copyright © 2016 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Protective buttressing of the human fist and the evolution of hominin hands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Michael H; Carrier, David R

    2013-01-15

    The derived proportions of the human hand may provide supportive buttressing that protects the hand from injury when striking with a fist. Flexion of digits 2-5 results in buttressing of the pads of the distal phalanges against the central palm and the palmar pads of the proximal phalanges. Additionally, adduction of the thenar eminence to abut the dorsal surface of the distal phalanges of digits 2 and 3 locks these digits into a solid configuration that may allow a transfer of energy through the thenar eminence to the wrist. To test the hypothesis of a performance advantage, we measured: (1) the forces and rate of change of acceleration (jerk) from maximum effort strikes of subjects striking with a fist and an open hand; (2) the static stiffness of the second metacarpo-phalangeal (MCP) joint in buttressed and unbuttressed fist postures; and (3) static force transfer from digits 2 and 3 to digit 1 also in buttressed and unbuttressed fist postures. We found that peak forces, force impulses and peak jerk did not differ between the closed fist and open palm strikes. However, the structure of the human fist provides buttressing that increases the stiffness of the second MCP joint by fourfold and, as a result of force transfer through the thenar eminence, more than doubles the ability of the proximal phalanges to transmit 'punching' force. Thus, the proportions of the human hand provide a performance advantage when striking with a fist. We propose that the derived proportions of hominin hands reflect, in part, sexual selection to improve fighting performance.

  12. Accounting And Forms Of Accountability In Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia And Ancient Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    SALVADOR CARMONA

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to identify the relevance and implications of ancient accounting practices to the contemporary theorizing of accounting. The paper provides a synthesis of the literature on ancient accounting particularly in relation to issues of human accountability, identifies its major achievements and outlines some of the key challenges facing researchers. We argue that far from being an idiosyncratic research field of marginal interest, research in ancient accounting is a rich an...

  13. Ancient and modern environmental DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca; Sarkissian, Clio Der; Haile, James; Hellstrom, Micaela; Spens, Johan; Thomsen, Philip Francis; Bohmann, Kristine; Cappellini, Enrico; Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Wales, Nathan A.; Carøe, Christian; Campos, Paula F.; Schmidt, Astrid M. Z.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Hansen, Anders J.; Orlando, Ludovic; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-01-01

    DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation. More recently, eDNA was used to uncover the past 50 000 years of vegetation history in the Arctic, revealing massive vegetation turnover at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, with implications for the extinction of megafauna. Furthermore, eDNA can reflect the biodiversity of extant flora and fauna, both qualitatively and quantitatively, allowing detection of rare species. As such, trace studies of plant and vertebrate DNA in the environment have revolutionized our knowledge of biogeography. However, the approach remains marred by biases related to DNA behaviour in environmental settings, incomplete reference databases and false positive results due to contamination. We provide a review of the field. PMID:25487334

  14. Ancient history of flatfish research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berghahn, Rüdiger; Bennema, Floris Pieter

    2013-01-01

    Owing to both their special appearance and behavior flatfish have attracted the special attention of people since ages. The first records of humans having been in touch with flatfish date back to the Stone Age about 15,000 years B.C. Detailed descriptions were already given in the classical antiquity and were taken up 1400 years later in the Renaissance by the first ichthyologists, encyclopédists, and also by practical men. This was more than 200 years before a number of common flatfish species were given their scientific names by Linnaeus in 1758. Besides morphology, remarkable and sometimes amusing naturalistic observations and figures are bequeathed. Ancient history of flatfish research is still a wide and open array. Examples are presented how the yield of information and interpretation from these times increases with interdisciplinary cooperation including archeologists, zoologists, ichthyologists, historians, art historians, fisheries and fishery biologist. The timeline of this contribution ends with the start of modern fishery research at the end of the 19th century in the course of the rapidly increasing exploitation of fish stocks.

  15. Genetics of dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocedi, Greta; Cote, Julien; Legrand, Delphine; Guillaume, Frédéric; Wheat, Christopher W.; Fronhofer, Emanuel A.; Garcia, Cristina; Henry, Roslyn; Husby, Arild; Baguette, Michel; Bonte, Dries; Coulon, Aurélie; Kokko, Hanna; Matthysen, Erik; Niitepõld, Kristjan; Nonaka, Etsuko; Stevens, Virginie M.; Travis, Justin M. J.; Donohue, Kathleen; Bullock, James M.; del Mar Delgado, Maria

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Dispersal is a process of central importance for the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of populations and communities, because of its diverse consequences for gene flow and demography. It is subject to evolutionary change, which begs the question, what is the genetic basis of this potentially complex trait? To address this question, we (i) review the empirical literature on the genetic basis of dispersal, (ii) explore how theoretical investigations of the evolution of dispersal have represented the genetics of dispersal, and (iii) discuss how the genetic basis of dispersal influences theoretical predictions of the evolution of dispersal and potential consequences. Dispersal has a detectable genetic basis in many organisms, from bacteria to plants and animals. Generally, there is evidence for significant genetic variation for dispersal or dispersal‐related phenotypes or evidence for the micro‐evolution of dispersal in natural populations. Dispersal is typically the outcome of several interacting traits, and this complexity is reflected in its genetic architecture: while some genes of moderate to large effect can influence certain aspects of dispersal, dispersal traits are typically polygenic. Correlations among dispersal traits as well as between dispersal traits and other traits under selection are common, and the genetic basis of dispersal can be highly environment‐dependent. By contrast, models have historically considered a highly simplified genetic architecture of dispersal. It is only recently that models have started to consider multiple loci influencing dispersal, as well as non‐additive effects such as dominance and epistasis, showing that the genetic basis of dispersal can influence evolutionary rates and outcomes, especially under non‐equilibrium conditions. For example, the number of loci controlling dispersal can influence projected rates of dispersal evolution during range shifts and corresponding demographic impacts

  16. Genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melchior, Linea Cecilie; Lynnerup, Niels; Siegismund, Hans Redlef

    2010-01-01

    Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. Unequivocal assignment of mtDNA haplotypes was possible for 56 of the ancient individuals; however...... samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least...... the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians ( approximately 2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type "diluted" by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic...

  17. Paleo-Environmental Reconstruction Using Ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther

    The aim of this thesis has been to investigate and expand the methodology and applicability for using ancient DNA deposited in lake sediments to detect and determine its genetic sources for paleo-environmental reconstruction. The aim was furthermore to put this tool into an applicable context...... research on ancient and modern environmental DNA (Paper 1), secondly by setting up a comparative study (Paper 2) to investigate how an ancient plant DNA (mini)-barcode can reflect other traditional methods (e.g. pollen and macrofossils) for reconstructing floristic history. In prolongation of the results...... obtained in paper 2 we developed a holistic metagenomic method combined with shotgun sequencing of ancient DNA in lake sediment samples to reconstruct organismal assemblages in addition to the flora e.g. micro-, meso- and megafauna, fungi and microbial communities (Paper 3). Fundamental processes were...

  18. AN INTERESTING CASE OF ANCIENT SCHWANNOMA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION : Schwannoma is a common benign tumour of nerve sheath. Degenerating type of schwannoma is called ancient schwannoma. Ancient schwannomas of scalp are rare and are often misdiagnosed as sebaceous cyst or dermoid cyst. CASE REPORT : We present a thirty two year old male presented with scalp swel ling of eight years duration. X - ray showed no intracranial extension. He underwent excision of the tumour and histopathology was reported as ancient schwannoma. DISCUSSION : Histopathologically , ancient schwannomas charecterised by cellular Antoni type A ar eas and less cellular Antoni type - B areas. 9 th , 7 th , 11 th , 5 th and 4 th cranial nerves are often affected and may be associated with multiple neuro fibramatosis (Von - Recklinghausen’s disease. Impact : Case is presented for its rarity and possible pre - operative misdiagnosis

  19. NIMI TANTRA (Opthalmology of Ancient India)

    OpenAIRE

    Ramachandran, C.K.

    1984-01-01

    The art of opthalmology was well developed in ancient India and was known as Nimi Tantra. In this paper the author presents the main features of Nimi Tantra an authoritative treatises written by Nimi, a prominent opthalmologist of his time.

  20. NIMI TANTRA (Opthalmology of Ancient India).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, C K

    1984-04-01

    The art of opthalmology was well developed in ancient India and was known as Nimi Tantra. In this paper the author presents the main features of Nimi Tantra an authoritative treatises written by Nimi, a prominent opthalmologist of his time.

  1. Surgical history of ancient China: Part 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Louis

    2010-03-01

    In this second part of ancient Chinese surgical history, the practice of bone setting in China began around 3000 years ago. Throughout this period, significant progress was made, some highlights of which are cited. These methods, comparable with Western orthopaedic technique, are still being practised today. In conclusion, the possible reasons for the lack of advancement in operative surgery are discussed, within context of the cultural, social and religious background of ancient China.

  2. Science and Library in the Ancient Age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Sacit Keseroğlu

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Science assumes its contemporary identity as a result of the stages of magic, religion and reason. The religious stage starts with the invention of writing and this stage leaves its place to reason with Thales in Ancient Greece. Knowledge eludes from religious beliefs. Ways to reach accurate, reliable and realistic knowledge are sought, along with the answer for what knowledge is. Therefore, beginning of the science is taken into consideration together with science and philosophy. The purpose of this study is to approach knowledge and science of the ancient age in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Ancient Greece in general terms and to determine the relationship between the knowledge produced in those places and libraries established. The hypothesis has been determined as “Egypt and Mesopotamia at the starting point of the history of science and science, and libraries in Ancient Greece have developed parallelly to each other.” The scope of the study has been limited to Mesopotamia, Egypt and Ancient Greece; and Ancient Greece has been explained, with descriptive method, in the frame of the topics of Ionia, Athens, Hellenistic Period and Rome. Many archives and libraries have been established in the ancient age. The difference between an archive and a library has been mentioned first, and then, various libraries have been introduced such as Nineveh in Mesopotamia, Alexandria in Ancient Greece and many others in Egypt. It has been clearly distinguished that there had been a very tight relationship between knowledge production and library, especially with the Library of Alexandria.

  3. Social Norms in the Ancient Athenian Courts

    OpenAIRE

    Lanni, Adriaan M.

    2013-01-01

    Ancient Athens was a remarkably peaceful and well-ordered society by both ancient and contemporary standards. Scholars typically attribute Athens’ success to internalized norms and purely informal enforcement mechanisms. This article argues that the formal Athenian court system played a vital role in maintaining order by enforcing informal norms. This peculiar approach to norm enforcement compensated for apparent weaknesses in the state system of coercion. It mitigated the effects of under-e...

  4. Problems of ancient and modern greek accent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerneja Kavčič

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available The subject of the article are the accen­ tual features of ancient and modern Greek. The first part discusses the prob­ lems of the position of the Greek accent at the earliest stages of development and the accentual rules of Ionic-Attic, Lesbic and Doric dialect. The second and the third part present the questions of the phonetics of the ancient Greek accent and the process in which the modern Greek accent appeared.

  5. Problems of ancient and modern greek accent

    OpenAIRE

    Jerneja Kavčič

    2000-01-01

    The subject of the article are the accen­ tual features of ancient and modern Greek. The first part discusses the prob­ lems of the position of the Greek accent at the earliest stages of development and the accentual rules of Ionic-Attic, Lesbic and Doric dialect. The second and the third part present the questions of the phonetics of the ancient Greek accent and the process in which the modern Greek accent appeared.

  6. Lectures on Dispersion Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salam, A.

    1956-04-01

    Lectures with mathematical analysis are given on Dispersion Theory and Causality and Dispersion Relations for Pion-nucleon Scattering. The appendix includes the S-matrix in terms of Heisenberg Operators. (F. S.)

  7. Ancient DNA provides new insight into the maternal lineages and domestication of Chinese donkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Lu; Zhu, Songbiao; Ning, Chao; Cai, Dawei; Wang, Kai; Chen, Quanjia; Hu, Songmei; Yang, Junkai; Shao, Jing; Zhu, Hong; Zhou, Hui

    2014-11-30

    The donkey (Equus asinus) is an important domestic animal that provides a reliable source of protein and method of transportation for many human populations. However, the process of domestication and the dispersal routes of the Chinese donkey are still unclear, as donkey remains are sparse in the archaeological record and often confused with horse remains. To explore the maternal origins and dispersal route of Chinese donkeys, both mitochondrial DNA D-loop and cytochrome b gene fragments of 21 suspected donkey remains from four archaeological sites in China were amplified and sequenced. Molecular methods of species identification show that 17 specimens were donkeys and three samples had the maternal genetic signature of horses. One sample that dates to about 20,000 years before present failed to amplify. In this study, the phylogenetic analysis reveals that ancient Chinese donkeys have high mitochondrial DNA diversity and two distinct mitochondrial maternal lineages, known as the Somali and Nubian lineages. These results indicate that the maternal origin of Chinese domestic donkeys was probably related to the African wild ass, which includes the Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus) and the Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis). Combined with historical records, the results of this study implied that domestic donkeys spread into west and north China before the emergence of the Han dynasty. The number of Chinese domestic donkeys had increased primarily to meet demand for the expansion of trade, and they were likely used as commodities or for shipping goods along the Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty, when the Silk Road reached its golden age. This study is the first to provide valuable ancient animal DNA evidence for early trade between African and Asian populations. The ancient DNA analysis of Chinese donkeys also sheds light on the dynamic process of the maternal origin, domestication, and dispersal route of ancient Chinese donkeys.

  8. Discovering Hominins - Application of Medical Computed Tomography (CT) to Fossil-Bearing Rocks from the Site of Malapa, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smilg, Jacqueline S; Berger, Lee R

    2015-01-01

    In the South African context, computed tomography (CT) has been used applied to individually prepared fossils and small rocks containing fossils, but has not been utilized on large breccia blocks as a means of discovering fossils, and particularly fossil hominins. Previous attempts at CT imaging of rocks from other South African sites for this purpose yielded disappointing results. For this study, 109 fossil- bearing rocks from the site of Malapa, South Africa were scanned with medical CT prior to manual preparation. The resultant images were assessed for accuracy of fossil identification and characterization against the standard of manual preparation. The accurate identification of fossils, including those of early hominins, that were not visible on the surface of individual blocks, is shown to be possible. The discovery of unexpected fossils is reduced, thus lowering the potential that fossils could be damaged through accidental encounter during routine preparation, or even entirely missed. This study should significantly change the way fossil discovery, recovery and preparation is done in the South African context and has potential for application in other palaeontological situations. Medical CT imaging is shown to be reliable, readily available, cost effective and accurate in finding fossils within matrix conglomerates. Improvements in CT equipment and in CT image quality are such that medical CT is now a viable imaging modality for this palaeontological application.

  9. Taphonomic analysis of the hominin remains from Swabian Jura and their implications for the mortuary practices during the Upper Paleolithic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Conard, Nicholas

    2016-10-01

    The symbolic behavior of human beings usually is manifested in different ways such as figurative art, musical traditions, spoken language or complex funerary behavior. The Paleolithic sites of the Swabian Jura contain a rich archaeological record including the oldest evidence of musical instruments and figurative art which indicates complex cognitive abilities of the Paleolithic Homo sapiens that colonized Europe. Nevertheless, there is no evidence for burials in the Swabian caves during the Paleolithic. This raises questions regarding the kind of mortuary practices that existed in this region during the Paleolithic. In this paper, we address these questions from a taphonomic perspective by analyzing the hominin remains recovered in caves of the Swabian Jura. Whatever the funerary behavior was during the Early and Middle Upper Paleolithic, we have no evidence to document these practices. The Magdalenian hominin remains from Brillenhöhle, however, display anthropic modifications that have been hotly debated in the past. Our taphonomic analysis indicates that the assemblage displays traces of butchery similar to those recorded in the faunal remains. In addition to the cut marks, we have documented intentional breakage and human tooth marks, suggesting that the consumption of human corpses took place during the Magdalenian at Brillenhöhle. Similar anthropic modifications have also been documented in Magdalenian horizon at Hohle Fels. This suggests that the cannibalism practices during the Magdalenian were more common than previously expected during the Magdalenian in the Swabian Jura.

  10. Discovering Hominins - Application of Medical Computed Tomography (CT to Fossil-Bearing Rocks from the Site of Malapa, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline S Smilg

    Full Text Available In the South African context, computed tomography (CT has been used applied to individually prepared fossils and small rocks containing fossils, but has not been utilized on large breccia blocks as a means of discovering fossils, and particularly fossil hominins. Previous attempts at CT imaging of rocks from other South African sites for this purpose yielded disappointing results. For this study, 109 fossil- bearing rocks from the site of Malapa, South Africa were scanned with medical CT prior to manual preparation. The resultant images were assessed for accuracy of fossil identification and characterization against the standard of manual preparation. The accurate identification of fossils, including those of early hominins, that were not visible on the surface of individual blocks, is shown to be possible. The discovery of unexpected fossils is reduced, thus lowering the potential that fossils could be damaged through accidental encounter during routine preparation, or even entirely missed. This study should significantly change the way fossil discovery, recovery and preparation is done in the South African context and has potential for application in other palaeontological situations. Medical CT imaging is shown to be reliable, readily available, cost effective and accurate in finding fossils within matrix conglomerates. Improvements in CT equipment and in CT image quality are such that medical CT is now a viable imaging modality for this palaeontological application.

  11. In vitro strain in human metacarpal bones during striking: testing the pugilism hypothesis of hominin hand evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horns, Joshua; Jung, Rebekah; Carrier, David R

    2015-10-01

    The hands of hominins (i.e. bipedal apes) are distinguished by skeletal proportions that are known to enhance manual dexterity but also allow the formation of a clenched fist. Because male-male physical competition is important in the mating systems of most species of great apes, including humans, we tested the hypothesis that a clenched fist protects the metacarpal bones from injury by reducing the level of strain during striking. We used cadaver arms to measure in vitro strain in metacarpals during forward strikes with buttressed and unbuttressed fist postures and during side slaps with an open palm. If the protective buttressing hypothesis is correct, the clenched fist posture should substantially reduce strain in the metacarpal bones during striking and therefore reduce the risk of fracture. Recorded strains were significantly higher in strikes in which the hand was secured in unbuttressed and slapping postures than in the fully buttressed posture. Our results suggest that humans can safely strike with 55% more force with a fully buttressed fist than with an unbuttressed fist and with twofold more force with a buttressed fist than with an open-hand slap. Thus, the evolutionary significance of the proportions of the hominin hand may be that these are the proportions that improved manual dexterity while at the same time making it possible for the hand to be used as a club during fighting. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Rates of anterior tooth wear in Middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Martinón-Torres, M; Sarmiento, S; Lozano, M; Arsuaga, J L; Carbonell, E

    2003-10-14

    This study presents quantitative data on the rates of anterior tooth wear in a Pleistocene human population. The data were obtained for the hominin sample of the Sima de los Huesos site in Atapuerca, Spain. The fossil record belongs to a minimum of 28 individuals of the same biological population, assigned to the species Homo heidelbergensis. We have estimated the original and the preserved crown height of the mandibular incisors (I1 and I2) of 11 individuals, whose age at death can be ascertained from the mineralization stage and tooth eruption. Results provide a range of 0.276-0.348 and 0.288-0.360 mm per year for the mean wear rate of the mandibular I1 and I2, respectively, in individuals approximately 16-18 years old. These data suggest that incisors' crowns would be totally worn out toward the fifth decade of life. Thus, we expect the life expectancy of this population to be seriously limited. These data, which could be contrasted with results obtained on hominins at other sites, could be of interest for estimating the death age of adult individuals.

  13. On the Relationships of Postcanine Tooth Size with Dietary Quality and Brain Volume in Primates: Implications for Hominin Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Manuel Jiménez-Arenas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates.

  14. Dispersing powders in liquids

    CERN Document Server

    Nelson, RD

    1988-01-01

    This book provides powder technologists with laboratory procedures for selecting dispersing agents and preparing stable dispersions that can then be used in particle size characterization instruments. Its broader goal is to introduce industrial chemists and engineers to the phenomena, terminology, physical principles, and chemical considerations involved in preparing and handling dispersions on a commercial scale. The book introduces novices to: - industrial problems due to improper degree of dispersion; - the nomenclature used in describing particles; - the basic physica

  15. [Spectral analysis of green pigments of painting and colored drawing in northern Chinese ancient architectures].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li-Qin; Yan, Jing; Fan, Xiao-Lei; Ma, Tao

    2010-02-01

    It is important to identify pigments of painting and colored drawing in ancient architectures in order to restore and conserve them. The components of green pigments were detected with X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX). Twenty-seven samples were collected from painting and colored drawing in northern Chinese ancient architectures in Beijing, Shanxi province and Gansu province. The experiment results showed that emerald green [CuCH3COO]2 x Cu(AsO2)2], a complex of copper aceto-arsenite pigment, had been used as the colored component in fifteen samples, whereas organic materials synthesized in the rest. However, in all samples there were no malachite and atacamite, green pigments commonly used in ancient time a long time ago. These two pigments have been found in Qin Shihuang's Terracotta Army and the wall paintings at Mogao Grettoes, Dunhuang, and some other famous wall paintings and color pottery figurines. However, emerald green was used many years later. It was reported that emerald green was synthesized by Germany in 1814 and had been widely used in China as watercolor on pith paper works and on scroll paintings since the 1850s. Because painting and colored drawing in ancient architectures stands outside, under sunlight and rain, it must be repaired and repainted in less than fifty years. Therefore, it is not surprising that emerald green was used in them. In recent years, artificial organic materials are increasingly used in painting and colored drawing in ancient architectures. From experiments it was also showed that in the same recolored painting and colored drawing, organic materials are usually in the later layers, but emerald green is in the earlier layers. This work supplies a lot of data for the purpose of selecting restoration materials and identifying painting and colored drawing in ancient architectures with a new method.

  16. Astronomically forced climate change in the Kenyan Rift Valley 2.7-2.55 Ma: implications for the evolution of early hominin ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingston, John D; Deino, Alan L; Edgar, Robert K; Hill, Andrew

    2007-11-01

    Global climate change, linked to astronomical forcing factors, has been implicated in faunal evolutionary change in equatorial Africa, including the origin and diversification of hominin lineages. Empirical terrestrial data demonstrating that orbital forcing has a significant effect, or is detectable, at early hominin sites in equatorial continental interiors during the Pliocene, however, remain limited. Sedimentation patterns in the Baringo Basin within the Central Kenyan Rift Valley between ca. 2.7 and 2.55 Ma, controlled by climatic factors, provide a detailed paleoenvironmental record spanning 35 fossil vertebrate localities, including three hominin sites. The succession includes a sequence of diatomites that record rhythmic cycling of major freshwater lake systems consistent with approximately 23-kyr Milankovitch precessional periodicity. The temporal framework of shifting precipitation patterns, relative to Pliocene insolation curves, implicate African monsoonal climatic control and indicate that climatic fluctuations in Rift Valley ecosystems were paced by global climatic change documented in marine cores. These data provide direct evidence of orbitally mediated environmental change at Pliocene Rift Valley hominin fossil localities, providing a unique opportunity to assess the evolutionary effect of short-term climatic flux on late Pliocene East African terrestrial communities.

  17. A fish is not a fish : Patterns in fatty acid composition of aquatic food may have had implications for hominin evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Joordens, Josephine C. A.; Kuipers, Remko S.; Wanink, Jan H.; Muskiet, Frits A. J.

    2014-01-01

    From c. 2 Ma (millions of years ago) onwards, hominin brain size and cognition increased in an unprecedented fashion. The exploitation of high-quality food resources, notably from aquatic ecosystems, may have been a facilitator or driver of this phenomenon. The aim of this study is to contribute to

  18. The top of the Olduvai Subchron in a high-resolution magnetostratigraphy from the West Turkana core WTK13, hominin sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sier, Mark J.; Langereis, Cor G.; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Feibel, Craig S.; Joordens, Josephine C.A.; van der Lubbe, Jeroen H.J.L.; Beck, Catherine C.; Olago, Daniel; Cohen, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    One of the major challenges in understanding the evolution of our own species is identifying the role climate change has played in the evolution of hominin species. To clarify the influence of climate, we need long and continuous high-resolution paleoclimate records, preferably obtained from

  19. The top of the Olduvai Subchron in a high-resolution magnetostratigraphy from the West Turkana core WTK13, hominin sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sier, Mark J.; Langereis, Cor G.; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Feibel, Craig S.; Joordens, Josephine C.A.; van der Lubbe, H.J.L.; Beck, Catherine; Olago, Daniel; Cohen, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Abstract One of the major challenges in understanding the evolution of our own species is identifying the role climate change has played in the evolution of hominin species. To clarify the influence of climate, we need long and continuous high-resolution paleoclimate records, preferably obtained

  20. Ancient Greek with Thrasymachus: A Web Site for Learning Ancient Greek.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Alison

    2001-01-01

    Discusses a project that was begun as an attempt by two teachers of Ancient Greek to provide supplementary materials to accompany "Thrasymachus," a first-year textbook for learning ancient Greek. Provides a brief history and description of the project, the format of each chapter, a chronology for completion of materials for each chapter in the…

  1. The Ancient Martian Climate System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Today Mars is a cold, dry, desert planet. The atmosphere is thin and liquid water is not stable. But there is evidence that very early in its history it was warmer and wetter. Since Mariner 9 first detected fluvial features on its ancient terrains researchers have been trying to understand what climatic conditions could have permitted liquid water to flow on the surface. Though the evidence is compelling, the problem is not yet solved. The main issue is coping with the faint young sun. During the period when warmer conditions prevailed 3.5-3.8 Gy the sun's luminosity was approximately 25% less than it is today. How can we explain the presence of liquid water on the surface of Mars under such conditions? A similar problem exists for Earth, which would have frozen over under a faint sun even though the evidence suggests otherwise. Attempts to solve the "Faint Young Sun Paradox" rely on greenhouse warming from an atmosphere with a different mass and composition than we see today. This is true for both Mars and Earth. However, it is not a straightforward solution. Any greenhouse theory must (a) produce the warming and rainfall needed, (b) have a plausible source for the gases required, (c) be sustainable, and (d) explain how the atmosphere evolved to its present state. These are challenging requirements and judging from the literature they have yet to be met. In this talk I will review the large and growing body of work on the early Mars climate system. I will take a holistic approach that involves many disciplines since our goal is to present an integrated view that touches on each of the requirements listed in the preceding paragraph. I will begin with the observational evidence, which comes from the geology, mineralogy, and isotopic data. Each of the data sets presents a consistent picture of a warmer and wetter past with a thicker atmosphere. How much warmer and wetter and how much thicker is a matter of debate, but conditions then were certainly different than

  2. An updated age for the Xujiayao hominin from the Nihewan Basin, North China: implications for Middle Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, H.

    2017-12-01

    With an inventory of >60 early Paleolithic sites, >100,000 in situ stone tools, and tons of mammal fossils, the Nihewan Basin in North China is one of the most important Paleolithic areas in East Asia. The Xujiayao site in the northwestern margin of Nihewan Basin is one of the most important Paleolithic sites worldwide. Twenty archaic Homo fossils have been excavated along with more than 30,000 lithic artifacts and 5000 mammalian fossil specimens. Dating of the Xujiayao hominin has been pursued since its excavation in the 1970s, but its age has remained controversial because of limitations of the previous dating techniques that have been applied to available materials. Here, we report new ages for the Xujiayao hominin based on combined electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of quartz in the sediments and high-resolution magnetostratigraphy of the fluvio-lacustrine sequence. The magnetostratigraphy suggests that the upper Matuyama and Brunhes polarity chrons are recorded at Xujiayao. The ESR dating results indicate a pooled average age of 260, 370 ka for the Homo-bearing layer, which is consistent with its position within the middle Brunhes normal polarity chron indicated by magnetostratigraphy. This age estimate makes the Xujiayao hominin among the oldest mid-Pleistocene hominins with derived Neanderthal traits in East Asia. Our updated age and the Neanderthal-like traits of the Xujiayao Homo fossils, particularly the Denisovan-like molar teeth, make it possible that the Xujiayao hominin could represent an early Denisovan, a sister group of Neanderthals. If this Homo species affiliation is documented by DNA study, it will imply that Neanderthals expanded to East Asia as early as 370 ka, just 60 ka after the origin of Neanderthals in West Europe at 430 ka, and then they further involved into typical Denisovans under local climatic and demographic pressure.

  3. An updated age for the Xujiayao hominin from the Nihewan Basin, North China: Implications for Middle Pleistocene human evolution in East Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, Hong; Liu, Chun-Ru; Roberts, Andrew P; Zhang, Peng; Xu, Xinwen

    2017-05-01

    The Xujiayao site in the Nihewan Basin (North China) is one of the most important Paleolithic sites in East Asia. Twenty Homo fossils, which were previously assigned to an archaic Homo sapiens group, have been excavated along with more than 30,000 lithic artifacts and ∼5000 mammalian fossil specimens. Dating of the Xujiayao hominin has been pursued since its excavation in the 1970s, but its age has remained controversial because of limitations of the dating techniques that have been applied to available materials. Here, we report new ages for the Xujiayao hominin based on combined electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of quartz in the sediments and high-resolution magnetostratigraphy of the fluvio-lacustrine sequence. The magnetostratigraphy suggests that the upper Matuyama and Brunhes polarity chrons are recorded at Xujiayao. The ESR dating results indicate a pooled average age of 260-370 ka for the Homo-bearing layer, which is consistent with its position within the middle Brunhes normal polarity chron indicated by magnetostratigraphy. This age estimate makes the Xujiayao hominin among the oldest mid-Pleistocene hominins with derived Neanderthal traits in East Asia. This age is consistent with the time when early Denisovans, a sister group of Neanderthals, appeared and colonized eastern Eurasia. Our updated age and the Neanderthal-like traits of the Xujiayao Homo fossils, particularly the Denisovan-like molar teeth, make it possible that the Xujiayao hominin could represent an early Denisovan. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Bone taphonomy of the Schöningen "Spear Horizon South" and its implications for site formation and hominin meat provisioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starkovich, Britt M; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    This paper presents the faunal remains from the new excavation area at the Lower Paleolithic site of Schöningen. The focus of the study is on the southern extension of the main find horizon (Spear Horizon South), which includes the layer that yielded the famous Schöningen spears (13 II-4). Taxonomic data corroborate previous studies, that hominins primarily hunted Equus mosbachensis, a large Pleistocene horse. Equid body part representation at the site suggests that the animals were hunted and butchered locally. There is no evidence for density-mediated attrition in the assemblage. Weathering damage is uncommon, though there is ample evidence that carnivores had access to the bone. Carnivore bite sizes were measured and compared to experimental data provided by previous authors. Based on relationships between bite size and carnivore behavior and body size, we conclude that the primary modifying agents were large carnivores (i.e., wolves or saber-toothed cats). Previous studies show that carnivores often had secondary access to the remains, after hominins. Cut marks are commonly arranged haphazardly on the bones. This may indicate that multiple hominins participated in the butchery of horse skeletons, or that they were butchered over the course of hours or days. Cut marks on axial elements are more "orderly," which probably reflects the physical logistics of orienting one's body in relation to a large carcass. These data differ from sites formed by Middle and Upper Paleolithic hominins, which might suggest that in later times, a system of organized meat provisioning was already in place. Taken together, the faunal evidence from the Spear Horizon South indicates that late Lower Paleolithic hominins using the site understood the behaviors of different prey species, hunted socially to take down large game, and successfully competed with large carnivores on the landscape for primary access to ungulate remains. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Diagnosis and management of retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gusani Niraj J

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ancient schwannomas are degenerate peripheral nerve sheath tumors that very rarely occur in the retroperitoneum. They generally reach large proportions before producing symptoms due to mass effect. We describe three cases of retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas and discuss the diagnosis and management of these tumors. Case presentations Three female patients with retroperitoneal ancient schwannomas were reviewed. One patient presented with several weeks of upper abdominal pain and lower chest discomfort, whereas back pain and leg pain with associated weakness were predominant symptoms in the remaining two. Abdominal imaging findings demonstrated heterogeneous masses in the retroperitoneum with demarcated margins, concerning for malignancy. The patients successfully had radical excision of their tumors. Histological examination showed encapsulated tumors that displayed alternating areas of dense cellularity and areas of myxoid matrix consistent with a diagnosis of ancient schwannoma. Conclusion A diagnosis of ancient schwannoma should be entertained for any heterogeneous, well encapsulated mass in the retroperitoneum. In these cases less radical surgical resection should be considered as malignant transformation of these tumors is extremely rare and recurrence is uncommon following excision.

  6. Paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental context of the Early Pleistocene hominins from Dmanisi (Georgia, Lesser Caucasus) inferred from the herpetofaunal assemblage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Agustí, Jordi; Lordkipanidze, David; Rook, Lorenzo; Delfino, Massimo

    2014-12-01

    Dmanisi is currently the oldest Early Palaeolithic site discovered out of Africa. It has produced over 40 hominin remains, including a set of very informative skulls, in direct association with faunal remains and numerous lithic artifacts. Given the relevance of this locality, every effort is being made to reconstruct the landscapes where these hominins once lived. Amphibian and reptile remains from Dmanisi are here described for the first time and used as paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental proxies. They comprise at least six taxa: a green toad (Bufo gr. Bufo viridis), the Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca), a green lizard (Lacerta gr. Lacerta viridis), a four-lined snake (Elaphe gr. Elaphe quatuorlineata), an indeterminate colubrid and a water snake (Natrix sp.). As these taxa are not extinct and their ecology can be directly studied, they can contribute to the reconstruction of the landscape and climate. The application of the Mutual Climatic Range method provides quantitative data indicating that during the hominin presence at Dmanisi climate was warm and dry, similar to the present-day Mediterranean climate. In comparison with today climate of Dmanisi, estimated mean annual temperature was 3.1 °C higher, with a greater increase of temperature in summer (+7.1 °C) than in winter (+4.7 °C). The mean annual precipitation was slightly lower (-65 mm) than the current level, with precipitation higher than current one during winter (+104 mm) but strongly lower during the other seasons, suggesting a stronger contrast in the rainfall regime during the year. From a paleoenvironmental point of view, fossil amphibians and reptiles all suggest the predominance of arid environments, from steppe or semi-desert to open Mediterranean forest, with stony or rocky substrate and bushy areas. The presence of permanent aquatic environments is also documented. These results mainly agree with those for large mammals, small mammals and the archaeobotanical analysis that indicate an

  7. Dacic Ancient Astronomical Research in Sarmizegetuza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel George Oprea

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The actual Romanian territory belongs to Carpatho-Danubian Space and to Ancient Europe. The Ancient European Society was a vast cultural entity based on a theocratic, matriarchal society, peaceful and art creating.Temples of Sarmizegetusa have given rise to several theories over time, proven by historians with the most diverse arguments. The largest complex of temples and sanctuaries was founded in Sarmizegetusa Regia, the Dacian’s main fortress and ancient capital of Dacia in the time of King Decebalus. The mysterious form of settlements has led researchers to the conclusion that the locations were astronomical observation shrines. Among the places of Dacian worship in Orastie Mountains the most impressive is the Great Circular Sanctuary, used to perform some celestial observations, and also as original solar calendar. This paper had the purpose to re-discover the Dacian Civilization and Dacian cosmogony based on the accumulated knowledge upon our country’s past.

  8. Prehistoric polymers: rubber processing in ancient mesoamerica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosler; Burkett; Tarkanian

    1999-06-18

    Ancient Mesoamerican peoples harvested latex from Castilla elastica, processed it using liquid extracted from Ipomoea alba (a species of morning glory vine), and fashioned rubber balls, hollow rubber figurines, and other rubber artifacts from the resulting material. Chemical and mechanical analyses of the latex and of the processed rubber indicate that the enhanced elastic behavior of the rubber relative to the unprocessed latex is due to purification of the polymer component and to an increase in the strength and number of interchain interactions that are induced by organic compounds present in I. alba. These ancient peoples' control over the properties of latex and processed rubber gave rise to the Mesoamerican ball game, a central ritual element in all ancient Mesoamerican societies.

  9. Twins in Ancient Greece: a synopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malamitsi-Puchner, Ariadne

    2016-01-01

    This brief outline associates twins with several aspects of life in Ancient Greece. In Greek mythology twins caused ambivalent reactions and were believed to have ambivalent feelings for each other. Very often, they were viewed as the representatives of the dualistic nature of the universe. Heteropaternal superfecundation, which dominates in ancient myths, explains on one hand, the god-like qualities and, on the other hand, the mortal nature of many twins. An assumption is presented that legends referring to twins might reflect the territorial expansions of Ancient Greeks in Northern Mediterranean, around the Black Sea, in Asia Minor, as well as North East Africa. In conclusion, in Greek antiquity, twins have been used as transitional figures between myth and reality.

  10. The ancient Chinese notes on hydrogeology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yu; Zwahlen, François; Wang, Yanxin

    2011-08-01

    The ancient Chinese notes on hydrogeology are summarized and interpreted, along with records of some related matters, like groundwater exploration and utilization, karst springs, water circulation, water conservation and saline-land transformation, mine drainage, and environmental hydrogeology. The report focuses only on the earliest recorded notes, mostly up until the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 25). Besides the references cited, the discussion in this report is based mainly on archaeological material, the preserved written classic literature, and some assumptions and/or conclusions that have been handed down in legends to later ages. Although most material relates to ancient China, the lessons learned may have practical significance worldwide. Compared to other contemporary parts of the world, ancient China, without doubt, took the lead in the field of groundwater hydrology. The great achievements and experience of the Chinese ancestors should provide motivation and inspiration for hydrogeologists to carry out their scientific research and exploration passionately and actively.

  11. Ancient Greek psychotherapy for contemporary nurses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kourkouta, Lambrini

    2002-08-01

    Ancient Greek physicians as well as philosophers were fully cognizant of a human being's psychological function and used their particular art to influence individual or social behavior in accordance with their pursuit. This art or technique favorably compares with several of the methods currently called supportive psychotherapy. This psychotherapy was the first form of care for people with mental health problems. Nurses who base their practice on ancient Greek psychotherapy see the patient as a whole, a person who creates meaning in life. Applying the philosophical principles of ancient Greeks helps nurses understand the behavior of people with mental health problems and recognize and facilitate adaptive satisfaction of these psychological needs. In addition, psychiatric nurses are able to help distressed individuals understand their fears and anxieties, so they are freed from the causes of their symptoms that led them to seek therapy in the first place. Consequently, this understanding can make psychiatric nurses' work a living experience and add meaning to their work.

  12. The Vindolanda Tablets and the Ancient Economy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Evers, Kasper Grønlund

    , a model is outlined which takes into account the different economic behaviours revealed by the tablets and attempts to fit them together into one coherent, economic system, whilst also relating the activities to questions of scale in the ancient economy; moreover, the conclusions drawn in the study......, the aim is to investigate how best to comprehend the economic system attested at Vindolanda and to consider the wider implications for studies of the ancient economy in general. This is accomplished by a three-step approach: first, the nature of the Vindolandan evidence is assessed, and the state...... of research on both studies of the ancient economy and the economy of early Roman Britain is accounted for, so as to highlight the value of the Vindolanda Tablets and lay the ground for the interpretations which follow. Secondly, the economic activities attested by the tablets are analysed in terms of market...

  13. Inferring Past Environments from Ancient Epigenomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokhman, David; Malul, Anat; Carmel, Liran

    2017-10-01

    Analyzing the conditions in which past individuals lived is key to understanding the environments and cultural transitions to which humans had to adapt. Here, we suggest a methodology to probe into past environments, using reconstructed premortem DNA methylation maps of ancient individuals. We review a large body of research showing that differential DNA methylation is associated with changes in various external and internal factors, and propose that loci whose DNA methylation level is environmentally responsive could serve as markers to infer about ancient daily life, diseases, nutrition, exposure to toxins, and more. We demonstrate this approach by showing that hunger-related DNA methylation changes are found in ancient hunter-gatherers. The strategy we present here opens a window to reconstruct previously inaccessible aspects of the lives of past individuals. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  14. The TL dating of ancient porcelain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leung, P.L.; Stokes, M.J.; Wang Weida; Xia Junding; Zhou Zhixin

    1997-01-01

    The age determination of ancient porcelain using the pre-dose technique in TL dating was reported. The variation of beta dose with depth below the surface of the porcelain slice, the thermal activation characteristic (TAC) for 110 degree C peak, the measurement of paleodose and the estimation of annual dose were studied. The results show that this technique is suitable for authenticity testing of ancient porcelain, but both accuracy and precision for porcelain dating are worse than those for pottery, because porcelain differs from pottery on composition, structure and firing temperature. Besides, some complicated factors in the pre-dose technique would be the possible cause of the greater errors

  15. Damage and repair of ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mitchell, David; Willerslev, Eske; Hansen, Anders

    2005-01-01

    Under certain conditions small amounts of DNA can survive for long periods of time and can be used as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) substrates for the study of phylogenetic relationships and population genetics of extinct plants and animals, including hominids. Because of extensive DNA...... such as extinct horses, cave bears, the marsupial wolf, the moa, and Neanderthal. In the past few years, this technology has been extended to the study of infectious disease in ancient Egyptian and South American mummies, the dietary habits of ancient animals, and agricultural practices and population dynamics...

  16. Seed dispersal by fishes in tropical and temperate fresh waters: The growing evidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horn, M.H.; Correa, S.B.; Parolin, P.; Pollux, B.J.A.; Anderson, J.T.; Lucas, C.; Widmann, P.; Tjiu, A.; Galetti, M.; Goulding, M.

    2011-01-01

    Fruit-eating by fishes represents an ancient (perhaps Paleozoic) interaction increasingly regarded as important for seed dispersal (ichthyochory) in tropical and temperate ecosystems. Most of the more than 275 known frugivorous species belong to the mainly Neotropical Characiformes (pacus, piranhas)

  17. The First Modern Human Dispersals across Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rito, Teresa; Richards, Martin B.; Fernandes, Verónica; Alshamali, Farida; Cerny, Viktor

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of more refined chronologies for climate change and archaeology in prehistoric Africa, and for the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), now make it feasible to test more sophisticated models of early modern human dispersals suggested by mtDNA distributions. Here we have generated 42 novel whole-mtDNA genomes belonging to haplogroup L0, the most divergent clade in the maternal line of descent, and analysed them alongside the growing database of African lineages belonging to L0’s sister clade, L1’6. We propose that the last common ancestor of modern human mtDNAs (carried by “mitochondrial Eve”) possibly arose in central Africa ~180 ka, at a time of low population size. By ~130 ka two distinct groups of anatomically modern humans co-existed in Africa: broadly, the ancestors of many modern-day Khoe and San populations in the south and a second central/eastern African group that includes the ancestors of most extant worldwide populations. Early modern human dispersals correlate with climate changes, particularly the tropical African “megadroughts” of MIS 5 (marine isotope stage 5, 135–75 ka) which paradoxically may have facilitated expansions in central and eastern Africa, ultimately triggering the dispersal out of Africa of people carrying haplogroup L3 ~60 ka. Two south to east migrations are discernible within haplogroup LO. One, between 120 and 75 ka, represents the first unambiguous long-range modern human dispersal detected by mtDNA and might have allowed the dispersal of several markers of modernity. A second one, within the last 20 ka signalled by L0d, may have been responsible for the spread of southern click-consonant languages to eastern Africa, contrary to the view that these eastern examples constitute relicts of an ancient, much wider distribution. PMID:24236171

  18. The first modern human dispersals across Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rito, Teresa; Richards, Martin B; Fernandes, Verónica; Alshamali, Farida; Cerny, Viktor; Pereira, Luísa; Soares, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of more refined chronologies for climate change and archaeology in prehistoric Africa, and for the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), now make it feasible to test more sophisticated models of early modern human dispersals suggested by mtDNA distributions. Here we have generated 42 novel whole-mtDNA genomes belonging to haplogroup L0, the most divergent clade in the maternal line of descent, and analysed them alongside the growing database of African lineages belonging to L0's sister clade, L1'6. We propose that the last common ancestor of modern human mtDNAs (carried by "mitochondrial Eve") possibly arose in central Africa ~180 ka, at a time of low population size. By ~130 ka two distinct groups of anatomically modern humans co-existed in Africa: broadly, the ancestors of many modern-day Khoe and San populations in the south and a second central/eastern African group that includes the ancestors of most extant worldwide populations. Early modern human dispersals correlate with climate changes, particularly the tropical African "megadroughts" of MIS 5 (marine isotope stage 5, 135-75 ka) which paradoxically may have facilitated expansions in central and eastern Africa, ultimately triggering the dispersal out of Africa of people carrying haplogroup L3 ~60 ka. Two south to east migrations are discernible within haplogroup LO. One, between 120 and 75 ka, represents the first unambiguous long-range modern human dispersal detected by mtDNA and might have allowed the dispersal of several markers of modernity. A second one, within the last 20 ka signalled by L0d, may have been responsible for the spread of southern click-consonant languages to eastern Africa, contrary to the view that these eastern examples constitute relicts of an ancient, much wider distribution.

  19. Dispersion management with metamaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassin, Philippe; Koschny, Thomas; Soukoulis, Costas M.

    2017-03-07

    An apparatus, system, and method to counteract group velocity dispersion in fibers, or any other propagation of electromagnetic signals at any wavelength (microwave, terahertz, optical, etc.) in any other medium. A dispersion compensation step or device based on dispersion-engineered metamaterials is included and avoids the need of a long section of specialty fiber or the need for Bragg gratings (which have insertion loss).

  20. Dispersant field monitoring procedures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hillman, S. O.; Hood, S. D.; Bronson, M. T.; Shufelt, G.

    1997-01-01

    Alyeska Pipeline Service Company's (APSC) dispersant response capability in the Port of Valdez, Prince William Sound, and in the Gulf of Alaska was described. APSC provides dispersal equipment, aerial spray delivery systems, helibucket delivery systems, vessel delivery systems, along with a minimum of 600,000 gallon stockpile of the dispersant Corexit 9527. Effectiveness and effects are monitored by visual observation. In addition, fluorometer and water sample analysis are also used to provide field analytical data indicative of the environmental effects of dispersant applications. The field monitoring plan was field tested in December 1996. Details of the monitoring procedures are outlined in this paper. 18 refs., 5 tabs

  1. Accessing developmental information of fossil hominin teeth using new synchrotron microtomography-based visualization techniques of dental surfaces and interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Cabec, Adeline; Tang, Nancy; Tafforeau, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Quantification of dental long-period growth lines (Retzius lines in enamel and Andresen lines in dentine) and matching of stress patterns (internal accentuated lines and hypoplasias) are used in determining crown formation time and age at death in juvenile fossil hominins. They yield the chronology employed for inferences of life history. Synchrotron virtual histology has been demonstrated as a non-destructive alternative to conventional invasive approaches. Nevertheless, fossil teeth are sometimes poorly preserved or physically inaccessible, preventing observation of the external expression of incremental lines (perikymata and periradicular bands). Here we present a new approach combining synchrotron virtual histology and high quality three-dimensional rendering of dental surfaces and internal interfaces. We illustrate this approach with seventeen permanent fossil hominin teeth. The outer enamel surface and enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) were segmented by capturing the phase contrast fringes at the structural interfaces. Three-dimensional models were rendered with Phong's algorithm, and a combination of directional colored lights to enhance surface topography and the pattern of subtle variations in tissue density. The process reveals perikymata and linear enamel hypoplasias on the entire crown surface, including unerupted teeth. Using this method, highly detailed stress patterns at the EDJ allow precise matching of teeth within an individual's dentition when virtual histology is not sufficient. We highlight that taphonomical altered enamel can in particular cases yield artificial subdivisions of perikymata when imaged using X-ray microtomography with insufficient resolution. This may complicate assessments of developmental time, although this can be circumvented by a careful analysis of external and internal structures in parallel. We further present new crown formation times for two unerupted canines from South African Australopiths, which were found to form over

  2. Accessing developmental information of fossil hominin teeth using new synchrotron microtomography-based visualization techniques of dental surfaces and interfaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adeline Le Cabec

    Full Text Available Quantification of dental long-period growth lines (Retzius lines in enamel and Andresen lines in dentine and matching of stress patterns (internal accentuated lines and hypoplasias are used in determining crown formation time and age at death in juvenile fossil hominins. They yield the chronology employed for inferences of life history. Synchrotron virtual histology has been demonstrated as a non-destructive alternative to conventional invasive approaches. Nevertheless, fossil teeth are sometimes poorly preserved or physically inaccessible, preventing observation of the external expression of incremental lines (perikymata and periradicular bands. Here we present a new approach combining synchrotron virtual histology and high quality three-dimensional rendering of dental surfaces and internal interfaces. We illustrate this approach with seventeen permanent fossil hominin teeth. The outer enamel surface and enamel-dentine junction (EDJ were segmented by capturing the phase contrast fringes at the structural interfaces. Three-dimensional models were rendered with Phong's algorithm, and a combination of directional colored lights to enhance surface topography and the pattern of subtle variations in tissue density. The process reveals perikymata and linear enamel hypoplasias on the entire crown surface, including unerupted teeth. Using this method, highly detailed stress patterns at the EDJ allow precise matching of teeth within an individual's dentition when virtual histology is not sufficient. We highlight that taphonomical altered enamel can in particular cases yield artificial subdivisions of perikymata when imaged using X-ray microtomography with insufficient resolution. This may complicate assessments of developmental time, although this can be circumvented by a careful analysis of external and internal structures in parallel. We further present new crown formation times for two unerupted canines from South African Australopiths, which were

  3. Using the covariation of extant hominoid upper and lower jaws to predict dental arcades of extinct hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stelzer, Stefanie; Gunz, Philipp; Neubauer, Simon; Spoor, Fred

    2018-01-01

    Upper and lower jaws are well represented in the fossil record of mammals and are frequently used to diagnose species. Some hominin species are only known by either their maxillary or mandibular morphology, and in this study, we explore the possibility of predicting their complementary dental arcade shape to aid the recognition of conspecific specimens in the fossil record. To this end, we apply multiple multivariate regression to analyze 3D landmark coordinates collected on associated upper and lower dental arcades of extant Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Pongo, and Hylobates. We first study the extant patterns of variation in dental arcade shape and quantify how accurate predictions of complementary arcades are. Then we explore applications of this extant framework for interpreting the fossil record based on two fossil hominin specimens with associated upper and lower jaws, KNM-WT 15000 (Homo erectus sensu lato) and Sts 52 (Australopithecus africanus), as well as two non-associated specimens of Paranthropus boisei, the maxilla of OH 5 and the Peninj mandible. We find that the shape differences between the predictions and the original fossil specimens are in the range of variation within genera or species and therefore are consistent with their known affinity. Our approach can provide a reference against which intraspecific variation of extinct species can be assessed. We show that our method predicts arcade shapes reliably even if the target shape is not represented in the reference sample. We find that in extant hominoids, the amount of within-taxon variation in dental arcade shape often overlaps with the amount of between-taxon shape variation. This implies that whereas a large difference in dental arcade shape between two individuals typically suggests that they belong to different species or even genera, a small shape difference does not necessarily imply conspecificity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Preserving the impossible: conservation of soft-sediment hominin footprint sites and strategies for three-dimensional digital data capture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R Bennett

    Full Text Available Human footprints provide some of the most publically emotive and tangible evidence of our ancestors. To the scientific community they provide evidence of stature, presence, behaviour and in the case of early hominins potential evidence with respect to the evolution of gait. While rare in the geological record the number of footprint sites has increased in recent years along with the analytical tools available for their study. Many of these sites are at risk from rapid erosion, including the Ileret footprints in northern Kenya which are second only in age to those at Laetoli (Tanzania. Unlithified, soft-sediment footprint sites such these pose a significant geoconservation challenge. In the first part of this paper conservation and preservation options are explored leading to the conclusion that to 'record and digitally rescue' provides the only viable approach. Key to such strategies is the increasing availability of three-dimensional data capture either via optical laser scanning and/or digital photogrammetry. Within the discipline there is a developing schism between those that favour one approach over the other and a requirement from geoconservationists and the scientific community for some form of objective appraisal of these alternatives is necessary. Consequently in the second part of this paper we evaluate these alternative approaches and the role they can play in a 'record and digitally rescue' conservation strategy. Using modern footprint data, digital models created via optical laser scanning are compared to those generated by state-of-the-art photogrammetry. Both methods give comparable although subtly different results. This data is evaluated alongside a review of field deployment issues to provide guidance to the community with respect to the factors which need to be considered in digital conservation of human/hominin footprints.

  5. Preserving the impossible: conservation of soft-sediment hominin footprint sites and strategies for three-dimensional digital data capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Matthew R; Falkingham, Peter; Morse, Sarita A; Bates, Karl; Crompton, Robin H

    2013-01-01

    Human footprints provide some of the most publically emotive and tangible evidence of our ancestors. To the scientific community they provide evidence of stature, presence, behaviour and in the case of early hominins potential evidence with respect to the evolution of gait. While rare in the geological record the number of footprint sites has increased in recent years along with the analytical tools available for their study. Many of these sites are at risk from rapid erosion, including the Ileret footprints in northern Kenya which are second only in age to those at Laetoli (Tanzania). Unlithified, soft-sediment footprint sites such these pose a significant geoconservation challenge. In the first part of this paper conservation and preservation options are explored leading to the conclusion that to 'record and digitally rescue' provides the only viable approach. Key to such strategies is the increasing availability of three-dimensional data capture either via optical laser scanning and/or digital photogrammetry. Within the discipline there is a developing schism between those that favour one approach over the other and a requirement from geoconservationists and the scientific community for some form of objective appraisal of these alternatives is necessary. Consequently in the second part of this paper we evaluate these alternative approaches and the role they can play in a 'record and digitally rescue' conservation strategy. Using modern footprint data, digital models created via optical laser scanning are compared to those generated by state-of-the-art photogrammetry. Both methods give comparable although subtly different results. This data is evaluated alongside a review of field deployment issues to provide guidance to the community with respect to the factors which need to be considered in digital conservation of human/hominin footprints.

  6. Moessbauer studies on ancient Jizhon plain Temmoku porcelains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Zhengfang; Zheng Yufang; Lin Yongqiang

    1994-01-01

    Three kinds of ancient Jizhou plain Temmoku wares and their several ware-making raw materials were studied by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Moessbauer spectroscopy. The firing technique of ancient Jizhou Temmoku porcelains is discussed. (orig.)

  7. Records of solar eclipse observations in ancient China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yanben; Qiao, Qiyuan

    2009-11-01

    Like ancient people at other places of the world, the ancient Chinese lived in awe of the Sun. As they felt solar eclipses extremely significant events, they closely observed the occurrence of solar eclipse. Ancient astronomers further realized very early that solar eclipses were one of the important astronomical phenomena to revise and improve the ancient calendar. Interestingly, ancient emperors regarded solar eclipses as warnings from heaven that might affect the stability of their throne. Consequently, observing and recording solar eclipses became official, which dated far back to ancient China when numerous relevant descriptions were recorded in historical books. These records contribute substantially to China as an ancient civilization, as well as to the research of the long-term variation of the rotation rate of the Earth during >2000 years before the 17th century. This paper briefly reviews the perception, observations and recording of solar eclipses by ancient Chinese astronomers.

  8. A critical re-evaluation of bone surface modification models for inferring fossil hominin and carnivore interactions through a multivariate approach: Application to the FLK Zinj archaeofaunal assemblage (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)

    OpenAIRE

    Domínguez Rodrigo, Manuel; Bunn T., Henry; Yravedra Sainz de los Terreros, José

    2014-01-01

    Over the past three decades, controversial interpretations of the behavioral meaning of bone Surface modifications at FLK Zinj regarding primary or secondary access to carcasses by hominins have stemmed from the independent use of mark types (cut, percussion, and tooth marks) to evaluate opposing models. Such controversy has also been based on an over-reliance on tooth mark frequencies (mostly generated by non-hominin carnivores), which have been documented to be high when hyenids are primary...

  9. Outreach Testing of Ancient Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanmartin, J. R. S.; Blanco, M. B. M.

    2015-10-01

    fundamental quantity being given by half the difference between solar distances to vertical at winter and summer solstices, with value about 23.5°. Day and year periods greatly differing by about 2 ½ orders of magnitude, 1 day against 365 days, helps students to correctly visualize and interpret the experimental measurements. Since the gnomon serves to observe at night the moon shadow too, students can also determine the inclination of the lunar orbital plane, as about 5 degrees away from the ecliptic, thus explaining why eclipses are infrequent. Independently, earth taking longer between spring and fall equinoxes than from fall to spring (the solar anomaly), as again verified by the students, was explained in ancient Greek science, which posited orbits universally as circles or their combination, by introducing the eccentric circle, with earth placed some distance away from the orbital centre when considering the relative motion of the sun, which would be closer to the earth in winter. In a sense, this can be seen as hint and approximation of the elliptic orbit proposed by Kepler many centuries later. EPSC Abstracts Vol. 10, EPSC2015-40, 2015 European Planetary Science Congress 2015 c Author(s) 2015 EPSC European Planetary Science Congress Secondly, by observing lunar phases and eclipses from the ground, students could also determine, following Aristarchus of Samos in the 3rd century BC, 4 length ratios involving moon and sun distances to earth, and radii of all three, moon, sun, and earth. The angular width of the moon could be first determined with simplest optical devices as about half a degree; this yields the ratio between moon diameter 2RM and distance DM to earth. Next, eclipses of sun prove its angular width, and thus ratio 2RS/DS, similar to the lunar one, though the relatively high lunar orbital eccentricity, 0.055, does result in not quite a full eclipse if at lunar apogee. Further, at a half-moon phase, when the angle sun-moon-earth is a right one, the angle

  10. A Swarm of Ancient Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-01

    We know of about 150 of the rich collections of old stars called globular clusters that orbit our galaxy, the Milky Way. This sharp new image of Messier 107, captured by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, displays the structure of one such globular cluster in exquisite detail. Studying these stellar swarms has revealed much about the history of our galaxy and how stars evolve. The globular cluster Messier 107, also known as NGC 6171, is a compact and ancient family of stars that lies about 21 000 light-years away. Messier 107 is a bustling metropolis: thousands of stars in globular clusters like this one are concentrated into a space that is only about twenty times the distance between our Sun and its nearest stellar neighbour, Alpha Centauri, across. A significant number of these stars have already evolved into red giants, one of the last stages of a star's life, and have a yellowish colour in this image. Globular clusters are among the oldest objects in the Universe. And since the stars within a globular cluster formed from the same cloud of interstellar matter at roughly the same time - typically over 10 billion years ago - they are all low-mass stars, as lightweights burn their hydrogen fuel supply much more slowly than stellar behemoths. Globular clusters formed during the earliest stages in the formation of their host galaxies and therefore studying these objects can give significant insights into how galaxies, and their component stars, evolve. Messier 107 has undergone intensive observations, being one of the 160 stellar fields that was selected for the Pre-FLAMES Survey - a preliminary survey conducted between 1999 and 2002 using the 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, to find suitable stars for follow-up observations with the VLT's spectroscopic instrument FLAMES [1]. Using FLAMES, it is possible to observe up to 130 targets at the same time, making it particularly well suited

  11. Analysis of ancient pigments by Raman microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuo Jian; Xu Cunyi

    1999-01-01

    Raman microscopy can be applied for the spatial resolution, and non-destructive in situ analysis of inorganic pigments in pottery, manuscripts and paintings. Compared with other techniques, it is the best single technique for this purpose. An overview is presented of the applications of Raman microscopy in the analysis of ancient pigments

  12. The Roots of Science in Ancient China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Arthur

    1982-01-01

    A 45-year-old research project (culminating in the multivolume "Science and Civilization in China") is examining major scientific innovations in ancient China and attempting to explain why, although the Chinese gained a technological edge in the past, they did not make the forward leap into modern science. (JN)

  13. Material characterization of ancient Indian copper

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. Ancient Indian copper; material characterization; electrochemical behaviour; rust analysis; corrosion rate. Abstract. A chalcolithic (2350–1800 BC) copper chisel from Balathal has been characterized by X-ray diffraction, microstructural and electrochemical methods. The surface patina was composed of sulfates ...

  14. Truth Obviousness in Ancient Greek Philosophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halyna I. Budz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The article examines the features of the axiomatic approach to the truth understanding in ancient Greek philosophy. Truth in the works by ancient philosophers has axiomatic essence, basing on divine origin of truth. As the truth has a divine origin, it is in reality. The reality, created by Gods is the solemn reality. Therefore, understanding of reality by man is the display of divine reality, which is true and clever. In of the context of ancient Greek philosophy, to know truth is to know something, existing in reality, in other words, something, truly existing, eternal reality. Consequently, to know truth is it to know the substantial reality base. That’s why the justification of the reality origin is the axiomatic doctrine of truth at the same time, because only fundamental principle “truly” exists and is the truth itself. The idea of fundamental principle in ancient Greek philosophy is the axiom, universal principle, which is the base of reality as a substance from ontological perspective and is realized as the truth from gnosiological perspective. Fundamental principle, as Greeks understand it, coincides with the truth, in other words, reality and thinking are identical. The idea of reality source is the universal criterion of world perception at the same time, in other words, it is the truth, which is perceived axiomatically.

  15. Discovering the Ancient Maya from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sever, T. L.

    2008-01-01

    The Pet6n region of northern Guatemala contains some of the most significant Mayan archeological sites in Latin America. It was in this region that the Maya civilization began, flourished, and abruptly disappeared. Remote sensing technology is helping to locate and map ancient Maya sites that are threatened today by accelerating deforestation and looting. Thematic Mapper, IKONOS, and QuickBird satellite, and airborne STAR-3i and AIRSAR radar data, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, are successfully detecting ancient Maya features such as sites, roadways, canals, and water reservoirs. Satellite imagery is also being used to map the bajos, which are seasonally flooded swamps that cover over 40% of the land surface. Through the use of various airborne and satellite sensor systems we have been able to detect and map ancient causeways, temples, reservoirs, and land forms, and locate these features on the ground through GPS technology. Recently, we have discovered that there is a strong relationship between a tropical forest vegetation signature in satellite imagery and the location of archeological sites. We believe that the use of limestone and lime plasters in ancient Maya construction affects the moisture, nutrition, and plant species of the surface vegetation. We have mapped these vegetation signatures in the imagery and verified through field survey that they are indicative of archeological sites. Through the use of remote sensing and GIS technology it is possible to identify unrecorded archeological features in a dense tropical forest environment and monitor these cultural features for their protection.

  16. Ancient Indian Mathematics – A Conspectus*

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    strikingly close to modern mathematics, repre- sent the various levels of intellectual attainment. There is now increasing awareness around the world that as one of the ancient cultures, India has contributed sub- stantially to the global scientific development in many spheres, and mathematics has been one of the recognized.

  17. Communication Arts in the Ancient World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havelock, Eric A., Ed.; Hershbell, Jackson P., Ed.

    Intended for both classicists and nonclassicists, this volume explores the beginnings of literacy in ancient Greece and Rome and examines the effects of written communication on these cultures. The nine articles, written by classical scholars and educators in the field of communication, discuss the following: the superiority of the alphabet over…

  18. The Ancient stellar population of Leo A.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saha, Abhijit; Fiorentino, Giuliana; Tolstoy, Eline; Cole, Andrew

    The primary goal of our proposal is the characterisation of the oldest stellar populations in Leo A using the properties of ancient RR Lyrae variable stars as tracers. Well known and long established correlations exist between the periods and luminosities of RR Lyrae variable stars and their ages

  19. Ancient DNA analysis of dental calculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weyrich, Laura S; Dobney, Keith; Cooper, Alan

    2015-02-01

    Dental calculus (calcified tartar or plaque) is today widespread on modern human teeth around the world. A combination of soft starchy foods, changing acidity of the oral environment, genetic pre-disposition, and the absence of dental hygiene all lead to the build-up of microorganisms and food debris on the tooth crown, which eventually calcifies through a complex process of mineralisation. Millions of oral microbes are trapped and preserved within this mineralised matrix, including pathogens associated with the oral cavity and airways, masticated food debris, and other types of extraneous particles that enter the mouth. As a result, archaeologists and anthropologists are increasingly using ancient human dental calculus to explore broad aspects of past human diet and health. Most recently, high-throughput DNA sequencing of ancient dental calculus has provided valuable insights into the evolution of the oral microbiome and shed new light on the impacts of some of the major biocultural transitions on human health throughout history and prehistory. Here, we provide a brief historical overview of archaeological dental calculus research, and discuss the current approaches to ancient DNA sampling and sequencing. Novel applications of ancient DNA from dental calculus are discussed, highlighting the considerable scope of this new research field for evolutionary biology and modern medicine. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. LD Students and the Ancient Mariner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara L.

    1988-01-01

    Synectics, the making of analogies, was used with learning disabled high school seniors to provide them with a creative process that aids in developing a deeper understanding of literature. After studying Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," the students completed a six-step process and produced a short writing assignment. (VW)

  1. Defining Astrology in Ancient and Classical History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campion, Nicholas

    2015-05-01

    Astrology in the ancient and classical worlds can be partly defined by its role, and partly by the way in which scholars spoke about it. The problem is complicated by the fact that the word is Greek - it has no Babylonian or Egyptian cognates - and even in Greece it was interchangeable with its cousin, 'astronomy'. Yet if we are to understand the role of the sky, stars and planets in culture, debates about the nature of ancient astrology, by both classical and modern scholars, must be taken into account. This talk will consider modern scholars' typologies of ancient astrology, together with ancient debates from Cicero in the 1st century BC, to Plotinus (204/5-270 AD) and Isidore of Seville (c. 560 - 4 April 636). It will consider the implications for our understanding of astronomy's role in culture, and conclude that in the classical period astrology may be best understood through its diversity and allegiance to competing philosophies, and that its functions were therefore similarly varied.

  2. Perry: American renaissance of an ancient beverage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgeoning world interest in cider and perry (pear cider, which is an alcoholic beverage) has created a strong demand for unique perry pear (Pyrus L.) cultivars. The history of perry dates to the ancient Romans. This beverage has been very popular through the centuries in Europe. The U.S. Department...

  3. The Ancient African Civilization of Kush.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollet, David; Mollet, Joyce

    1998-01-01

    Argues that early African civilizations should be taught to ameliorate the problem of many African-American students first encountering related peoples in discussions of colonialism and slavery. Observes that the absence of materials for middle grade teachers reinforces this tendency. Promotes the authors' teaching packs on the ancient African…

  4. The Challenges of Qualitatively Coding Ancient Texts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slingerland, Edward; Chudek, Maciej

    2012-01-01

    We respond to several important and valid concerns about our study ("The Prevalence of Folk Dualism in Early China," "Cognitive Science" 35: 997-1007) by Klein and Klein, defending our interpretation of our data. We also argue that, despite the undeniable challenges involved in qualitatively coding texts from ancient cultures,…

  5. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oskam, Charlotte L; Haile, James Seymour; McLay, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Owing to exceptional biomolecule preservation, fossil avian eggshell has been used extensively in geochronology and palaeodietary studies. Here, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time that fossil eggshell is a previously unrecognized source of ancient DNA (aDNA). We describe the successful...

  6. [Gynecology and obstetrics in ancient Egypt].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morice, P; Josset, P; Colau, J C

    1994-01-01

    We analyzed scriptural and archeologic sources of information concerning gynaecology and obstetrics as practiced in ancient Egypt. Knowledge of anatomy was rudimentary but precocious diagnosis of pregnancy was practiced. An obstetrical chair had been used since the VIth dynasty. The Egyptians were the first to describe prolapsus of the genital organs. The pessary was a known treatment. Spermicidal mixtures were used for contraception.

  7. Ancient Egyptian Medicine: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Adu-Gyamfi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Our present day knowledge in the area of medicine in Ancient Egypt has been severally sourced from medical papyri several of which have been deduced and analyzed by different scholars. For educational purposes it is always imperative to consult different literature or sources in the teaching of ancient Egypt and medicine in particular. To avoid subjectivity the author has found the need to re-engage the efforts made by several scholars in adducing evidences from medical papyri. In the quest to re-engage the efforts of earlier writers and commentaries on the medical papyri, we are afforded the opportunity to be informed about the need to ask further questions to enable us to construct or reconstruct both past and modern views on ancient Egyptian medical knowledge. It is this vocation the author sought to pursue in the interim, through a preliminary review, to highlight, comment and reinvigorate in the reader or researcher the need for a continuous engagement of some pertinent documentary sources on Ancient Egyptian medical knowledge for educational and research purposes. The study is based on qualitative review of published literature. The selection of those articles as sources was based on the focus of the review, in order to purposively select and comment on articles that were published based either on information from a medical papyrus or focused on medical specialization among the ancient Egyptians as well as ancient Egyptian knowledge on diseases and medicine. It was found that the Egyptians developed relatively sophisticated medical practices covering significant medical fields such as herbal medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, anatomy and physiology, mummification and even the preliminary form of surgery. These practices, perhaps, were developed as remedies for the prevailing diseases and the accidents that might have occurred during the construction of their giant pyramids. It must be stated that they were not without flaws. Also, the

  8. Visualizing Dispersion Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottschalk, Elinor; Venkataraman, Bhawani

    2014-01-01

    An animation and accompanying activity has been developed to help students visualize how dispersion interactions arise. The animation uses the gecko's ability to walk on vertical surfaces to illustrate how dispersion interactions play a role in macroscale outcomes. Assessment of student learning reveals that students were able to develop…

  9. Dispersal of forest insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcmanus, M. L.

    1979-01-01

    Dispersal flights of selected species of forest insects which are associated with periodic outbreaks of pests that occur over large contiguous forested areas are discussed. Gypsy moths, spruce budworms, and forest tent caterpillars were studied for their massive migrations in forested areas. Results indicate that large dispersals into forested areas are due to the females, except in the case of the gypsy moth.

  10. Ancient Egypt in our Cultural Heritage?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Vasiljević

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Inspiration derived from ancient Egypt is usually expressed through the Egyptian motifs in arts and popular culture of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as through the non-scientific interpretations of the culture, very much based upon the Renaissance ones. The number and variety of material and non-material traces of this fascination are most expressed in the countries where, along with the early support for the institutional development of Egyptology, there existed economically potent educated middle classes (Western and Central Europe, USA, but may also be traced elsewhere. The public fascination by ancient Egypt has not ceased by the times of foundation of Egyptology, marked by the decipherment of the hieroglyphic script in 1822. Until the end of the 20th century Egyptologists have rarely dealt with the prelude to their discipline, limiting their interest to the critical approach to ancient sources and to noting the attempts to interpret the hieroglyphic script and the function of pyramids. However, the rising importance of the reception studies in other disciplines raised the interest of Egyptologists for the "fascination of Egypt", thus changing the status of various modes of expressing "Egyptomania" – they have thus become a part of the cultural heritage, registered, documented, preserved and studied. The research of this kind is only beginning in Serbia. The line of inquiry enhances the knowledge of the scope, manifestations and roles of the interest in Egypt, not limited by the national or political borders. On the other hand, the existence of the cultural heritage similar to the wider European view of ancient Egypt – short remarks by Jerotej Račanin, Kandor by Atanasije Stojković, the usage of architectural motifs derived from Egypt, the emergence of small private collections, to mention several early examples – all show that the research into the reception of ancient Egypt may contribute to the knowledge about the history

  11. Ancient and Medieval Cosmology in Armenian Highland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.

    2016-12-01

    Humankind has always sought to recognize the nature of various sky related phenomena and tried to give them explanations. It is especially vivid in ancient cultures, many of which are related to the Middle East. The purpose of this study is to identify ancient Armenian's pantheistic and cosmological perceptions, world view, notions and beliefs. By this study we answer the question "How did the Universe work in Ancient Armenian Highland?" The paper focuses on the structure of the Universe and many phenomena of nature that have always had major influence on ancient Armenians thinking. Here we weave together astronomy, anthropology and mythology of Armenia, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions. The initial review of the study covers Moses of Khoren, Yeznik of Koghb, Anania Shirakatsi and other 5th-7th centuries historians' and scientists' records about the Universe related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. By discussing and comparing Universe structure in various regional traditions, myths, folk songs and phraseological units we very often came across "seven worlds", "seven earths" and "seven layers" concepts. We draw parallels between scientific and mythological Earth and Heaven and thus find similar number of layers on both of the ancient and modern thinking. In the article we also give some details about the tripartite structure of the Universe and how these parts are connected with axis. This axis is either a column or a Cosmic Tree (Kenatz Tsar). In Armenian culture the preliminary meanings of the Kenatz Tsar are more vivid in folk songs (Jan gyulums), plays, epic, and so on, which was subsequently mixed with religious and spiritual views. We conclude that the perception of the Universe structure and celestial objects had a significant impact on culture and worldview of the people of the Armenian Highland; particularly it was one of the bases of the regional cultural diversity.

  12. Dispersion and space charge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venturini, M.; Kishek, R.A.; Reiser, M.

    1998-01-01

    The presence of space charge affects the value of the dispersion function. On the other hand dispersion has a role in shaping the beam distribution and therefore in determining the resulting forces due to space charge. In this paper we present a framework where the interplay between space charge and dispersion for a continuous beam can be simultaneously treated. We revise the derivation of a new set of rms envelope-dispersion equations we have recently proposed in [1]. The new equations generalize the standard rms envelope equations currently used for matching to the case where bends and a longitudinal momentum spread are present. We report a comparison between the solutions of the rms envelope-dispersion equations and the results obtained using WARP, a Particle in Cell (PIC) code, in the modeling of the Maryland Electron Ring. copyright 1998 American Institute of Physics

  13. Dispersion and space charge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venturini, M. [Department of Physics and Institute for Plasma Research, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742 (United States); Kishek, R.A.; Reiser, M. [Department of Electrical Engeneering and Institute for Plasma Research, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742 (United States)

    1998-11-01

    The presence of space charge affects the value of the dispersion function. On the other hand dispersion has a role in shaping the beam distribution and therefore in determining the resulting forces due to space charge. In this paper we present a framework where the interplay between space charge and dispersion for a continuous beam can be simultaneously treated. We revise the derivation of a new set of rms envelope-dispersion equations we have recently proposed in [1]. The new equations generalize the standard rms envelope equations currently used for matching to the case where bends and a longitudinal momentum spread are present. We report a comparison between the solutions of the rms envelope-dispersion equations and the results obtained using WARP, a Particle in Cell (PIC) code, in the modeling of the Maryland Electron Ring. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  14. Dispersion and space charge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venturini, Marco; Kishek, Rami A.; Reiser, Martin

    1998-01-01

    The presence of space charge affects the value of the dispersion function. On the other hand dispersion has a role in shaping the beam distribution and therefore in determining the resulting forces due to space charge. In this paper we present a framework where the interplay between space charge and dispersion for a continuous beam can be simultaneously treated. We revise the derivation of a new set of rms envelope-dispersion equations we have recently proposed. The new equations generalize the standard rms envelope equations currently used for matching to the case where bends and a longitudinal momentum spread are present. We report a comparison between the solutions of the rms envelope-dispersion equations and the results obtained using WARP, a Particle in Cell (PIC) code, in the modeling of the Maryland Electron Ring

  15. Dispersal and metapopulation stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaopeng Wang

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Metapopulation dynamics are jointly regulated by local and spatial factors. These factors may affect the dynamics of local populations and of the entire metapopulation differently. Previous studies have shown that dispersal can stabilize local populations; however, as dispersal also tends to increase spatial synchrony, its net effect on metapopulation stability has been controversial. Here we present a simple metapopulation model to study how dispersal, in interaction with other spatial and local processes, affects the temporal variability of metapopulations in a stochastic environment. Our results show that in homogeneous metapopulations, the local stabilizing and spatial synchronizing effects of dispersal cancel each other out, such that dispersal has no effect on metapopulation variability. This result is robust to moderate heterogeneities in local and spatial parameters. When local and spatial dynamics exhibit high heterogeneities, however, dispersal can either stabilize or destabilize metapopulation dynamics through various mechanisms. Our findings have important theoretical and practical implications. We show that dispersal functions as a form of spatial intraspecific mutualism in metapopulation dynamics and that its effect on metapopulation stability is opposite to that of interspecific competition on local community stability. Our results also suggest that conservation corridors should be designed with appreciation of spatial heterogeneities in population dynamics in order to maximize metapopulation stability.

  16. Intra-individual metameric variation expressed at the enamel-dentine junction of lower post-canine dentition of South African fossil hominins and modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Lei; Thackeray, John Francis; Dumoncel, Jean; Zanolli, Clément; Oettlé, Anna; de Beer, Frikkie; Hoffman, Jakobus; Duployer, Benjamin; Tenailleau, Christophe; Braga, José

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study is to compare the degree and patterning of inter- and intra-individual metameric variation in South African australopiths, early Homo and modern humans. Metameric variation likely reflects developmental and taxonomical issues, and could also be used to infer ecological and functional adaptations. However, its patterning along the early hominin postcanine dentition, particularly among South African fossil hominins, remains unexplored. Using microfocus X-ray computed tomography (µXCT) and geometric morphometric tools, we studied the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) morphology and we investigated the intra- and inter-individual EDJ metameric variation among eight australopiths and two early Homo specimens from South Africa, as well as 32 modern humans. Along post-canine dentition, shape changes between metameres represented by relative positions and height of dentine horns, outlines of the EDJ occlusal table are reported in modern and fossil taxa. Comparisons of EDJ mean shapes and multivariate analyses reveal substantial variation in the direction and magnitude of metameric shape changes among taxa, but some common trends can be found. In modern humans, both the direction and magnitude of metameric shape change show increased variability in M 2 -M 3 compared to M 1 -M 2 . Fossil specimens are clustered together showing similar magnitudes of shape change. Along M 2 -M 3 , the lengths of their metameric vectors are not as variable as those of modern humans, but they display considerable variability in the direction of shape change. The distalward increase of metameric variation along the modern human molar row is consistent with the odontogenetic models of molar row structure (inhibitory cascade model). Though much remains to be tested, the variable trends and magnitudes in metamerism in fossil hominins reported here, together with differences in the scale of shape change between modern humans and fossil hominins may provide valuable information

  17. Coal occurrence in ancient sedimentary environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korkmaz, S. [Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon (Turkey)

    1994-12-31

    Coal is an organic matter and is a product of sedimentary environments. The most favourable areas for coal-forming flora are the shallow-swampy environments which are developed in various parts of sedimentary basins occurring along sea-shores, deltas and lakes. Sedimentary basins contain deposits that may be several hundred kilometers in length and width and a few thousand meters in thickness. Different environments of deposition and associated sediments may develop in a basin through all the periods of geological history, and the deposits may grade into one another both laterally and vertically. Since the environments of coal deposition are known, it is easy to deduce how and where to search for coal occurrences in an ancient sedimentary environment. Large coal deposits of economic interest occur in lacustrine, deltaic and fluvial environments, and lagoons and barrier islands. The most noticeable and characteristic features of the ancient depositional environments in which coal deposits occur are described. 60 refs., 8 figs.

  18. Sportive buildings in the ancient Rome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela TEJA

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Sport and physical education —in Ancient Rome-, looked back to the physical ideals of the Greeks. In contrast, there was also a specific encouragement of spectacles and performance or general entertainment during the Imperial Era. In order to cater for the diverse shows, sophisticated buildings were constructed in Rome, and reproduced in all the built-up areas throughout the Empire. In fact, besides the important circus network, the most emblematic of these being Maximo's Circus, amphitheatres, arenas and spa resorts were constructed, in addition to the Dominitian Stadium. The author studies the different types of «sporting» installations in Ancient Rome, considering the entertainments which took place in them: chariot races, gladiatorial combat, the hunting of wild beasts, naval combats, the stadium sports and, of course, the Roman passion for spas and hot baths.

  19. AMS radiocarbon dating of ancient Japanese sutras

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oda, Hirotaka; Yoshizawa, Yasukazu; Nakamura, Toshio; Fujita, Keiko

    2000-01-01

    Radiocarbon ages of ancient Japanese sutras whose historical ages were known paleographically were measured by means of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Calibrated radiocarbon ages of five samples were consistent with the corresponding historical ages; the 'old wood effect' is negligible for ancient Japanese sutras. Japanese paper has been made from fresh branches grown within a few years and the interval from trimming off the branches to writing sutra on the paper is within one year. The good agreement between the calibrated radiocarbon ages and the historical ages is supported by such characteristics of Japanese paper. It is indicated in this study that Japanese sutra is a suitable sample for radiocarbon dating in the historic period because of little gap by 'old wood effect'

  20. AMS radiocarbon dating of ancient Japanese sutras

    CERN Document Server

    Oda, H; Nakamura, T; Fujita, K

    2000-01-01

    Radiocarbon ages of ancient Japanese sutras whose historical ages were known paleographically were measured by means of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Calibrated radiocarbon ages of five samples were consistent with the corresponding historical ages; the 'old wood effect' is negligible for ancient Japanese sutras. Japanese paper has been made from fresh branches grown within a few years and the interval from trimming off the branches to writing sutra on the paper is within one year. The good agreement between the calibrated radiocarbon ages and the historical ages is supported by such characteristics of Japanese paper. It is indicated in this study that Japanese sutra is a suitable sample for radiocarbon dating in the historic period because of little gap by 'old wood effect'.

  1. Lead in ancient Rome's city waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delile, Hugo; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Goiran, Jean-Philippe; Keay, Simon; Albarède, Francis

    2014-05-06

    It is now universally accepted that utilization of lead for domestic purposes and water distribution presents a major health hazard. The ancient Roman world was unaware of these risks. How far the gigantic network of lead pipes used in ancient Rome compromised public health in the city is unknown. Lead isotopes in sediments from the harbor of Imperial Rome register the presence of a strong anthropogenic component during the beginning of the Common Era and the Early Middle Ages. They demonstrate that the lead pipes of the water distribution system increased Pb contents in drinking water of the capital city by up to two orders of magnitude over the natural background. The Pb isotope record shows that the discontinuities in the pollution of the Tiber by lead are intimately entwined with the major issues affecting Late Antique Rome and its water distribution system.

  2. Lipids of aquatic sediments, recent and ancient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eglinton, G.; Hajibrahim, S. K.; Maxwell, J. R.; Quirke, J. M. E.; Shaw, G. J.; Volkman, J. K.; Wardroper, A. M. K.

    1979-01-01

    Computerized gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is now an essential tool in the analysis of the complex mixtures of lipids (geolipids) encountered in aquatic sediments, both 'recent' (less than 1 million years old) and ancient. The application of MS, and particularly GC-MS, has been instrumental in the rapid development of organic geochemistry and environmental organic chemistry in recent years. The techniques used have resulted in the identification of numerous compounds of a variety of types in sediments. Most attention has been concentrated on molecules of limited size, mainly below 500 molecular mass, and of limited functionality, for examples, hydrocarbons, fatty acids and alcohols. Examples from recent studies (at Bristol) of contemporary, 'recent' and ancient sediments are presented and discussed.

  3. Macroculture, Athletics and Democracy in ancient Greece

    OpenAIRE

    Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    In the present essay we examine whether and how sports affected the emergence of democracy as a political phenomenon in Classical Greece. To achieve this we introduce in a model the concept of macroculture as a complex of mutually supporting values, norms and beliefs in various areas of human activity, like athletics, war, politics, etc. Then, we proceed through a historical review on the history of sports in Ancient Greece and we investigate various aspects of how and under which terms athle...

  4. Sportive buildings in the ancient Rome

    OpenAIRE

    Angela TEJA

    2013-01-01

    Sport and physical education —in Ancient Rome-, looked back to the physical ideals of the Greeks. In contrast, there was also a specific encouragement of spectacles and performance or general entertainment during the Imperial Era. In order to cater for the diverse shows, sophisticated buildings were constructed in Rome, and reproduced in all the built-up areas throughout the Empire. In fact, besides the important circus network, the most emblematic of these being Maximo's Circus, amphitheatre...

  5. Penile representations in ancient Greek art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rempelakos, L; Tsiamis, C; Poulakou-Rebelakou, E

    2013-12-01

    The presentation of the cult of phallus in ancient Greece and the artistic appearance of the phenomenon on vase figures and statues, as indicative of the significant role of the male genitalia in all fertility ceremonies. The examination of a great number of penile representations from the ancient Greek pottery and sculpture and the review of the ancient theater plays (satiric dramas and comedies ). Phallus in artistic representation is connected either with gods of fertility, such as the goat-footed and horned Pan or the ugly dwarf Priapus or the semi-animal nailed figures Satyrs, devotees of the god Dionysus accompanying him in all ritual orgiastic celebrations. Phallus also symbolizes good luck, health and sexuality: people bear or wear artificial phalli exactly like the actors as part of their costume or carry huge penises during the festive ritual processions. On the contrary, the Olympic gods or the ordinary mortals are not imaged ithyphallic; the ideal type of male beauty epitomized in classical sculpture, normally depicts genitals of average or less than average size. It is noteworthy that many of these images belong to athletes during or immediately after hard exercise with the penis shrunk. The normal size genitalia may have been simply a convention to distinguish normal people from the gods of sexuality and fertility, protectors of the reproductive process of Nature. The representation of the over-sized and erected genitalia on vase figures or statues of ancient Greek art is related to fertility gods such as Priapus, Pan and Satyrs and there is strong evidence that imagination and legend were replacing the scientific achievements in the field of erectile function for many centuries.

  6. Reactimeter dispersion equation

    OpenAIRE

    A.G. Yuferov

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this work is to derive and analyze a reactimeter metrological model in the form of the dispersion equation which connects reactimeter input/output signal dispersions with superimposed random noise at the inlet. It is proposed to standardize the reactimeter equation form, presenting the main reactimeter computing unit by a convolution equation. Hence, the reactimeter metrological characteristics are completely determined by this unit hardware function which represents a transient re...

  7. Cosmologies of the ancient Mediterranean world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T. Fitzgerald

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Cosmology is concerned with the order of the universe and seeks to provide an account, not only of that order, but also of the mind or reason behind it. In antiquity, the cosmos was usually understood religiously, such that the cosmologies of the ancient Mediterranean world were either religious in nature or constituted a reaction to a religiously conceived understanding of the structures of the universe. The oldest form in which ancient cosmologies occur is myth, which, owing to its elasticity as a form, enabled them to be appropriated, adapted and used by different groups. In addition, different cosmologies co-existed within the same ancient culture, each having an authoritative status. This article provides an introductory overview of these cosmological myths and argues that a comparative approach is the most fruitful way to study them. Emphasis is given to certain prominent cosmological topics, including theogony (the genesis of the divine or the relationship of the divine to the cosmos, cosmogony (the genesis of the cosmos, and anthropogony (the origin of humans within the cosmos. Although these myths vary greatly in terms of content and how they envision the origin of the cosmos, many of them depict death as part of the structure of the universe.

  8. Fickian dispersion is anomalous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushman, John H.; O'Malley, Dan

    2015-12-01

    The thesis put forward here is that the occurrence of Fickian dispersion in geophysical settings is a rare event and consequently should be labeled as anomalous. What people classically call anomalous is really the norm. In a Lagrangian setting, a process with mean square displacement which is proportional to time is generally labeled as Fickian dispersion. With a number of counter examples we show why this definition is fraught with difficulty. In a related discussion, we show an infinite second moment does not necessarily imply the process is super dispersive. By employing a rigorous mathematical definition of Fickian dispersion we illustrate why it is so hard to find a Fickian process. We go on to employ a number of renormalization group approaches to classify non-Fickian dispersive behavior. Scaling laws for the probability density function for a dispersive process, the distribution for the first passage times, the mean first passage time, and the finite-size Lyapunov exponent are presented for fixed points of both deterministic and stochastic renormalization group operators. The fixed points of the renormalization group operators are p-self-similar processes. A generalized renormalization group operator is introduced whose fixed points form a set of generalized self-similar processes. Power-law clocks are introduced to examine multi-scaling behavior. Several examples of these ideas are presented and discussed.

  9. Analytical study of ancient pottery from the archaeological site of Aiani, northern Greece

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iordanidis, A.; Garcia-Guinea, J.; Karamitrou-Mentessidi, G.

    2009-01-01

    The present study is a multi-analytical approach on the characterization of several potsherd samples, dated from prehistoric to hellenistic times, from Aiani, ancient Upper Macedonia, northern Greece. In particular, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy, coupled with Energy Dispersive X-ray system (ESEM-EDX) were used for the determination of the morphological, chemical and mineralogical characteristics of the potsherds. The preliminary results indicated a rather local provenance of the analyzed ancient pottery samples and a finer texture and thus better ceramic manufacture as getting to hellenistic era. The use of a silicious or calcerous raw material is probably related to the specific utilization of each ceramic vessel in ancient times. The presence of gehlenite or pyroxene minerals in the ceramic matrix indicated higher firing temperatures, while lower temperatures were deduced when finding phylosilicate minerals. The preliminary results of this study do not necessarily imply that all the pottery of this area, belonging to the same chronological type, have similar physicochemical characteristics

  10. U-Pb dated Speleothem records of Plio-Pleistocen climate variability from South African hominin bearing caves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Robyn; Göktürk, Ozan; Badertscher, Seraina; Fleitmann, Dominik; Kramers, Jan

    2010-05-01

    We use stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen to investigate the potential palaeoclimate records from the caves near Johannesburg in South Africa. The sediments in these caves contain early human (hominin) fossils, as well as speleothem material, providing an ideal opportunity to investigate the palaeo-enviroments of our earliest ancestors. These sites are dated via uranium-lead to between 2.8 and 1.5 Ma and provide a window into changing climatic conditions, rare from both this period and region. We micro-drilled stalagmite and flowstone samples from Sterkfontein (2.8 -2.0 Ma), Swartkrans (2.4 -1.7 Ma) and Cooper's Cave (1.5 - 1.4 Ma) at 0.5mm spacing to provide a total of five high resolution records. Oxygen isotope values range from -6.5 to -3‰, clustering around -4.5‰. Carbon isotopes range from -8 to 2‰ and show more variation. Both a Hendy test and a C vs. O plot show that the deposits in question were deposited in equilibrium with their surroundings and the data can be used for environmental interpretations. Care was also taken to examine the petrography of all the speleothem material to access the mineralogy (calcite vs aragonite) and the extent of re-crystallisation. Oxygen isotope values are interpreted as the product of the amount and type of rainfall, with wetter periods represented by enriched excursions. The contribution of the dolomite aquifer above the cave may, however, obscure the δ18O signal. The carbon isotopes reflect changes in the vegetational communities above the cave, with varying amounts of C3 and C4 plants. At present each speleothem piece has only one U-Pb date, the distribution of suitable uranium rich layers limits the spatial resolution of dates. The Cooper's Cave flowstone pieces display visible growth layers; should these be annual layers, then these two records represent as little as 60 years climate variability - specifically in the amount of rainfall. However, this would require very fast speleothem growth rates (0.5mm

  11. The Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel: environment, hominin culture, subsistence and adaptation on the shores of the paleo-Hula Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goren-Inbar, N.

    2014-12-01

    The Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov (GBY), located in the Hula Valley, northern sector of the Dead Sea transform, stretches along 3.5 km of the Jordan River and its banks. The accumulation of tilted lake-margin sediments interfingered with basalt flows began 1.1 Ma and ended after 0.6 Ma. The excavations (1989-1997) exposed 34 m thick deposits that provide unique data sets on climate, environment, biology, culture and hominin behavior. Hominin presence is known throughout the sequence, providing information on Acheulian technology and cognition along the time trajectory, but the richest sites (15 in number) occur above the M/B Chron Boundary. Reconstructions of paleoenvironment and habitats are based on fossil remains yielding an extremely rich typically Mediterranean biomass of diverse biogeographic origins. Macro and micro organic material (over 140 identified taxa) exhibits a typical Mediterranean environment similar to the extant flora, with few extinctions (20 species). The rich fossil faunal include molluscs, ostracods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, micromammals and medium-sized to large mammals (over 237 taxa), predominantly Palearctic in biogeographic origin. Many of these taxa are still extant, attesting to stable habitats and paleoclimatic conditions. Hominin occupations are documented by thousands of lithic artifacts (flint, limestone and basalt), all assigned to the Large Flake Acheulian culture. These assemblages show a continuous cultural tradition of the same tool kit along the time trajectory. The lithic reduction required developed cognitive abilities and communication abilities, interpreted as language. Evidence of hominin subsistence includes data on carcass processing including extraction of marrow, with a preference for consumption of fallow deer, elephant, hippopotamus and fish. Edible plant remains include nuts, USO, fruits, seeds and vegetables in association with stone artifacts and animal bones. Fire, present throughout, was

  12. Homosexuality according to ancient Greek physicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laios, K; Moschos, M M; Koukaki, E; Kontaxaki, M-I; Androutsos, G

    2017-01-01

    Homosexuality and pedophilia in ancient Greece greatly concerned many researchers who were mainly interested in highlighting the social aspect of this phenomenon in ancient Greek society. An important source on the subject was the paintings of a man and his lover in attic black and red figured pottery, up to the end of the 5th century BC. Another main source was the information that derived from the texts of ancient Greek literature, especially poetry. Homosexuality was not only referring to relationships between males, but it was also manifested in lesbian love. It is believed that in the Homeric world homosexuality was not favored. In Greek society of the archaic period, the restriction of women at home, the satisfaction of sexual needs with courtesans, the marriage for the purpose of maintaining and managing the property, put women aside, marginalizing them in terms of social life, impeding the cultivation of emotional relationships between sexes. At the same time, in the society of those times, the aristocratic ideal, the constant communication of men during military training and the war, the male nudity in sports and the promotion of beauty and bravery in athletic contests, as well as the gatherings and the entertainment of men at the symposia, created a suitable substrate in which male homosexuality could develop. In this context, pedophile relationships were developed mainly during the archaic period, as recorded on vase paintings, where a mature man developed a special relationship with a teenager of the same social class. The mature man had the role of mentor for the juvenile, he would look after him and cover his living expenses and education cost. In this relationship, exhibiting predominantly the social dimension of an initiation process and introduction to adult life, the erotic homosexual intercourse could find a place to flourish. The above-mentioned relationship could not last forever, given that this would later transform into an emotional

  13. Urology and the scientific method in ancient Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordetsky, Jennifer; O'Brien, Jeanne

    2009-03-01

    To examine the practice of urology in ancient Egypt using various sources, including the Edwin Smith and Ebers Papyri. The sources of knowledge of ancient Egyptian medicine include medical papyri, paleopathology, art, and hieroglyphic carvings. A brief overview of the medical system in ancient Egypt was completed, in addition to an examination of the training and specialization of the physician in the ancient world. Urologic diseases treated in ancient Egypt and some of the first documented urologic surgeries are presented. Finally, we studied the role of the physician-priest and the intertwined use of religion and magic in ancient Egyptian medicine. The same medical conditions urologists treat in the office today were methodically documented thousands of years ago. Medical papyri show evidence that the ancient Egyptians practiced medicine using a scientific method based on the clinical observation of disease. This has been exemplified by the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, a collection of surgical cases that gives a diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for each ailment, and the discovery of medical specialization in ancient Egypt, giving us perhaps the world's first urologists. Intertwined with the scientific method was also the rich mysticism and religion of ancient Egypt, which were integral components of the healing process. We present an overview of the practice of urology in ancient Egypt, in terms of both pharmacologic and surgical intervention, as well as with a look into the religion of medicine practiced at that time.

  14. Relationship between ancient bridges and population dynamics in the lower Yangtze River Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Jia, Xin; Lee, Harry F; Zhao, Hongqiang; Cai, Shuliang; Huang, Xianjin

    2017-01-01

    It has been suggested that population growth dynamics may be revealed by the geographic distribution and the physical structure of ancient bridges. Yet, this relationship has not been empirically verified. In this study, we applied the archaeological records for ancient bridges to reveal the population growth dynamics in the lower Yangtze River Basin in late imperial China. We investigated 89 ancient bridges in Yixing that were built during the Ming and Qing dynasties (AD1368-1911). Global Position System information and structure (length, width, and span) of those bridges was measured during our field investigations. Their distribution density was calculated by ArcGIS. The historical socio-economic dynamics of Yixing was inferred from the distribution and structure of ancient bridges. Based on the above information, the population growth dynamics in Yixing was projected. Our results show that 77 bridges were built in Yixing during the Qing dynasty, which is 6.41 times more than the number built during the Ming dynasty. In the Ming dynasty, bridges were built on pivotal routes; in the Qing dynasty, bridges were scattered across various places. Over the period, the density distribution of bridges shifted northwestward, while the average length and width of bridges decreased. The increasing number of bridges corresponded to population growth, largely attributable to massive clan migration from northern China during the Little Ice Age. The shift in the density distribution of bridges corresponded to the formation of settlements of large clans and the blossoming of Yixing Teapot handicrafts. The scattering and the reduction in average length and width of bridges was due to the dispersal of population and the associated formation of small settlements in the latter period. Our approach is innovative and robust, and could be employed to recover long-term historical population growth dynamics in other parts of China.

  15. Relationship between ancient bridges and population dynamics in the lower Yangtze River Basin, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Zhao

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that population growth dynamics may be revealed by the geographic distribution and the physical structure of ancient bridges. Yet, this relationship has not been empirically verified. In this study, we applied the archaeological records for ancient bridges to reveal the population growth dynamics in the lower Yangtze River Basin in late imperial China. We investigated 89 ancient bridges in Yixing that were built during the Ming and Qing dynasties (AD1368-1911. Global Position System information and structure (length, width, and span of those bridges was measured during our field investigations. Their distribution density was calculated by ArcGIS. The historical socio-economic dynamics of Yixing was inferred from the distribution and structure of ancient bridges. Based on the above information, the population growth dynamics in Yixing was projected. Our results show that 77 bridges were built in Yixing during the Qing dynasty, which is 6.41 times more than the number built during the Ming dynasty. In the Ming dynasty, bridges were built on pivotal routes; in the Qing dynasty, bridges were scattered across various places. Over the period, the density distribution of bridges shifted northwestward, while the average length and width of bridges decreased. The increasing number of bridges corresponded to population growth, largely attributable to massive clan migration from northern China during the Little Ice Age. The shift in the density distribution of bridges corresponded to the formation of settlements of large clans and the blossoming of Yixing Teapot handicrafts. The scattering and the reduction in average length and width of bridges was due to the dispersal of population and the associated formation of small settlements in the latter period. Our approach is innovative and robust, and could be employed to recover long-term historical population growth dynamics in other parts of China.

  16. Integrating archaeology and ancient DNA analysis to address invasive species colonization in the Gulf of Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Catherine; Hofman, Courtney A; Ebbert, Steve; Martin, John; Shirazi, Sabrina; Dunning, Samantha; Maldonado, Jesus E

    2017-10-01

    The intentional and unintentional movement of plants and animals by humans has transformed ecosystems and landscapes globally. Assessing when and how a species was introduced are central to managing these transformed landscapes, particularly in island environments. In the Gulf of Alaska, there is considerable interest in the history of mammal introductions and rehabilitating Gulf of Alaska island environments by eradicating mammals classified as invasive species. The Arctic ground squirrel (Urocitellus parryii) is of concern because it affects vegetation and seabirds on Gulf of Alaska islands. This animal is assumed to have been introduced by historic settlers; however, ground squirrel remains in the prehistoric archaeological record of Chirikof Island, Alaska, challenge this timeline and suggest they colonized the islands long ago. We used 3 lines of evidence to address this problem: direct radiocarbon dating of archaeological squirrel remains; evidence of prehistoric human use of squirrels; and ancient DNA analysis of dated squirrel remains. Chirikof squirrels dated to at least 2000 years ago, and cut marks on squirrel bones suggested prehistoric use by people. Ancient squirrels also shared a mitochondrial haplotype with modern Chirikof squirrels. These results suggest that squirrels have been on Chirikof longer than previously assumed and that the current population of squirrels is closely related to the ancient population. Thus, it appears ground squirrels are not a recent, human-mediated introduction and may have colonized the island via a natural dispersal event or an ancient human translocation. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. Relationship between ancient bridges and population dynamics in the lower Yangtze River Basin, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Lee, Harry F.; Zhao, Hongqiang; Cai, Shuliang; Huang, Xianjin

    2017-01-01

    It has been suggested that population growth dynamics may be revealed by the geographic distribution and the physical structure of ancient bridges. Yet, this relationship has not been empirically verified. In this study, we applied the archaeological records for ancient bridges to reveal the population growth dynamics in the lower Yangtze River Basin in late imperial China. We investigated 89 ancient bridges in Yixing that were built during the Ming and Qing dynasties (AD1368–1911). Global Position System information and structure (length, width, and span) of those bridges was measured during our field investigations. Their distribution density was calculated by ArcGIS. The historical socio-economic dynamics of Yixing was inferred from the distribution and structure of ancient bridges. Based on the above information, the population growth dynamics in Yixing was projected. Our results show that 77 bridges were built in Yixing during the Qing dynasty, which is 6.41 times more than the number built during the Ming dynasty. In the Ming dynasty, bridges were built on pivotal routes; in the Qing dynasty, bridges were scattered across various places. Over the period, the density distribution of bridges shifted northwestward, while the average length and width of bridges decreased. The increasing number of bridges corresponded to population growth, largely attributable to massive clan migration from northern China during the Little Ice Age. The shift in the density distribution of bridges corresponded to the formation of settlements of large clans and the blossoming of Yixing Teapot handicrafts. The scattering and the reduction in average length and width of bridges was due to the dispersal of population and the associated formation of small settlements in the latter period. Our approach is innovative and robust, and could be employed to recover long-term historical population growth dynamics in other parts of China. PMID:28792976

  18. Ancient dispersal of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii from the Amazon rainforest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagen, F.; Ceresini, P.C.; Polacheck, I.; Ma, H.; van Nieuwerburgh, F.; Gabaldon, T.; Kagan, S.; Pursall, E.R.; Hoogveld, H.L.; van Iersel, L.J.; Klau, G.W.; Kelk, S.M.; Stougie, L.; Bartlett, K.H.; Voelz, K.; Pryszcz, L.P.; Castaneda, E.; Lazera, M.; Meyer, W.; Deforce, D.; Meis, J.F.G.M.; May, R.C.; Klaassen, C.H.W.; Boekhout, T.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, several fungal outbreaks have occurred, including the high-profile 'Vancouver Island' and 'Pacific Northwest' outbreaks, caused by Cryptococcus gattii, which has affected hundreds of otherwise healthy humans and animals. Over the same time period, C. gattii was the cause

  19. Ancient dispersal of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii from the Amazon rainforest.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagen, F.; Ceresini, P.C.; Polacheck, I.; Ma, H.; Nieuwerburgh, F. van; Gabaldón, T.; Kagan, S.; Pursall, E.R.; Hoogveld, H.L.; Iersel, L.J. van; Klau, G.W.; Kelk, S.M.; Stougie, L.; Bartlett, K.H.; Voelz, K.; Pryszcz, L.P.; Castañeda, E.; Lazera, M.; Meyer, W.; Deforce, D.; Meis, J.F.G.M.; May, R.C.; Klaassen, C.H.; Boekhout, T.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, several fungal outbreaks have occurred, including the high-profile 'Vancouver Island' and 'Pacific Northwest' outbreaks, caused by Cryptococcus gattii, which has affected hundreds of otherwise healthy humans and animals. Over the same time period, C. gattii was the cause

  20. A morphometric and taxonomic assessment of a hominine femur from the lower member, Koobi Fora, Lake Turkana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, G E

    1983-08-01

    Previous research by this author and others has indicated that species-level differentiation within the hominines can be detected in the femur. The femoral shaft of Homo erectus, relative to H. sapiens, demonstrates small anteroposterior diameters, a distally placed point of minimum shaft breadth, and increased cortical thickness resulting in medullary stenosis. This pattern has been identified in specimens from Choukoutien (I and IV), Olduvai (OH 28), and Lake Turkana (KNM ER 737). Findings reported here include anatomical comparisons and univariate and multivariate analyses based on external and internal shaft morphology. These results indicate that the femoral pattern characteristic of H. erectus can be identified in KNM ER 1481a recovered at Lake Turkana below the KBS tuff. Recent dating of that tuff indicates a date of ca. 1.8 mya, thereby yielding a date for KNM ER 1481a of congruent to 2.0 mya. Known H. erectus femora extend over a broad span and yet show very low variability; this pronounced stasis would strongly suggest that, at least in this portion of the postcranium, H. erectus was in a period of profound morphological stasis.

  1. The evolution of the hominin thumb and the influence exerted by the non-dominant hand during stone tool production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Key, Alastair J M; Dunmore, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

    Modern humans possess a highly derived thumb that is substantially stronger and more robust than the fingers. Previous hypotheses concerning the evolution of such traits have focused upon the manipulation of hammerstones during stone tool production and of stone tools during their use. To date there has been no research on the manipulative pressures exerted by the non-dominant (core-holding) hand during stone tool production and its potential influence on the evolutionary history of the thumb. Here we provide the first investigation into the frequencies of digit recruitment and the relative manipulative forces experienced in the non-dominant hand during stone tool production. Eight experienced knappers produced flake cutting tools under four distinct conditions while pressure sensors, secured to the volar pads of the thumb, index and middle fingers of the non-dominant hand, recorded manipulative forces. Results indicate that relative to the fingers, the thumb was recruited significantly more frequently and experienced significantly greater manipulative forces during core repositioning events and the securing of the core during flake detachments. Our results support the hypothesis that the robust thumb anatomy observed in the hominin lineage was selected for, at least in part, as a result of more frequent and greater manipulative pressures acting upon the thumb relative to the fingers on the non-dominant hand during stone tool production. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The provenance investigation on ancient chinese Ru porcelains by NAA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Zhengyao; Wang Jie; Chen Songhua

    1997-01-01

    The 28 samples of glazes and bodies of ancient Chinese Ru porcelains are analyzed by neutron activation. The 36 element contents in each sample are determined. The neutron activation analysis (NAA) data are analyzed by fuzzy cluster. The trend cluster diagram is obtained. The result shows that the ancient Chinese Ru porcelains were most probably from the same raw material source though they were from different time, fired in different kilns and in different colors. The near provenance relation between ancient Jun porcelain and ancient Ru porcelain is preliminarily analyzed. The two modern Ru porcelains approximate to ancient Ru porcelains, one becomes estranged from ancient Ru porcelains. Jingdezhen porcelain is unconcerned with Ru porcelains

  3. Design and development of an ancient Chinese document recognition system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Liangrui; Xiu, Pingping; Ding, Xiaoqing

    2003-12-01

    The digitization of ancient Chinese documents presents new challenges to OCR (Optical Character Recognition) research field due to the large character set of ancient Chinese characters, variant font types, and versatile document layout styles, as these documents are historical reflections to the thousands of years of Chinese civilization. After analyzing the general characteristics of ancient Chinese documents, we present a solution for recognition of ancient Chinese documents with regular font-types and layout-styles. Based on the previous work on multilingual OCR in TH-OCR system, we focus on the design and development of two key technologies which include character recognition and page segmentation. Experimental results show that the developed character recognition kernel of 19,635 Chinese characters outperforms our original traditional Chinese recognition kernel; Benchmarked test on printed ancient Chinese books proves that the proposed system is effective for regular ancient Chinese documents.

  4. The first evidence of cut marks and usewear traces from the Plio-Pleistocene locality of El-Kherba (Ain Hanech), Algeria: implications for early hominin subsistence activities circa 1.8 Ma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahnouni, Mohamed; Rosell, Jordi; van der Made, Jan; Vergès, Josep María; Ollé, Andreu; Kandi, Nadia; Harichane, Zoheir; Derradji, Abdelkader; Medig, Mohamed

    2013-02-01

    The current archaeological data on early hominin subsistence activities in Africa are derived chiefly from Sub-Saharan Plio-Pleistocene sites. The recent studies at El-Kherba (Ain Hanech) in northeastern Algeria expand the geographic range of evidence of hominin subsistence patterns to include the earliest known archaeological sites documented in North Africa. Dated to 1.78 million years ago (Ma), excavations from El-Kherba yielded an Oldowan industry associated with a savanna-like fauna contained in floodplain deposits. The faunal assemblage is dominated by large and medium-sized animals (mainly adults), especially equids, which are represented by at least 11 individuals. The mammalian archaeofauna preserves numerous cut-marked and hammerstone-percussed bones. Made of primarily limestone and flint, the stone assemblage consists of core forms, débitage, and retouched pieces. Evidence of usewear traces is found on several of the flint artifacts, indicating meat processing by early hominins. Overall, our subsistence analysis indicates that early hominins were largely responsible for bone modification at the site, which is also corroborated by other relevant taphonomic evidence. Moreover, at 1.78 Ma, the cutmarked bones recovered from El-Kherba represent the earliest known evidence for ancestral hominin butchery activities and large animal foraging capabilities in northern Africa. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Unriddling of ancient-medieval culture by PIXE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uda, M.

    1997-01-01

    Some examples are given for unriddling of ancient-medieval culture by PIXE. Effectiveness of PIXE to analyze art and archaeological objects is also explained. Objects employed here are 1) red, yellow, blue and white pigments painted on sun-dried bricks excavated in Egypt, 2) ancient glass beads used in the Near East, 3) South American mummy hair, 4) ancient slag excavated from Kansai-district, Japan 5) ink used by Galileo Galilei and 6) Renaissance style enameled gold jewelry. (author)

  6. Re-discovering ancient wheat varieties as functional foods

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    With the gluten-free food market worth almost $1.6 bn in 2011, there is every reason for renewed interest in ancient grains. This resurgent interest is expressed in re-discovering ancient varieties as functional foods. In particular, people affected by celiac disease have to avoid all gluten in their diet and several ancient grains may offer an important alternative.

  7. Ancient DNA and the tropics: a rodent's tale

    OpenAIRE

    Gutiérrez-García, Tania A.; Vázquez-Domínguez, Ella; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Kuch, Melanie; Enk, Jacob; King, Christine; Poinar, Hendrik N.

    2014-01-01

    Most genetic studies of Holocene fauna have been performed with ancient samples from dry and cold regions, in which preservation of fossils is facilitated and molecular damage is reduced. Ancient DNA work from tropical regions has been precluded owing to factors that limit DNA preservation (e.g. temperature, hydrolytic damage). We analysed ancient DNA from rodent jawbones identified as Ototylomys phyllotis, found in Holocene and Late Pleistocene stratigraphic layers from Loltún, a humid tropi...

  8. Chiral anomalous dispersion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadofyev, Andrey; Sen, Srimoyee

    2018-02-01

    The linearized Einstein equation describing graviton propagation through a chiral medium appears to be helicity dependent. We analyze features of the corresponding spectrum in a collision-less regime above a flat background. In the long wave-length limit, circularly polarized metric perturbations travel with a helicity dependent group velocity that can turn negative giving rise to a new type of an anomalous dispersion. We further show that this chiral anomalous dispersion is a general feature of polarized modes propagating through chiral plasmas extending our result to the electromagnetic sector.

  9. [Bow legged adjectives in ancient literature].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Frantisek; Steger, Florian

    2011-01-01

    This article addresses the issue of capturing the medical entity called 'curved legs' in a terminologically exact way. In so doing, it refers to the long-lasting process of differentiation of exact nuances of meaning in Ancient Greek and Latin. In the chronological perusal of ancient Greek literature, it becomes evident that the various adjectives employed are often vague when looking at non-medical literature. By contrast, in the Hippocratic corpus these terms are for the first time annotated with explanations intended to lead to a more precise understanding of the described deformity. Further attempts of differentiation can be found in the writings of Galen, who not only distinguishes between outward and inward curvatures, but also between deformities of the thigh and lower leg as well as between pathological and natural curvatures. Latin literature also provides a series of adjectives that were initially often used in the meaning of 'curved' but it was not until Celsus that these were differentiated with respect to the type and direction of the curvature. When comparing Greek and Latin adjectives, it turns out that though the Latin term blaesus can be traced back etymologically to the Greek word beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta, the meaning of beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta does not fully correspond to that of the Latin word. It is not before the later common transliteration of Greek words that this adjective took on the meaning of beta lambda alpha iota sigma ó zeta; however, this was finally lost again. In summary, the article concludes that exact word meanings in ancient literature are often unclear and precise ascriptions of meanings are inconsistent. In the case of "curved legs," this has led to misunderstandings regarding the respective types and directions of the curvature.

  10. Surgical history of ancient China: part 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Louis

    2009-12-01

    Although surgery was an accepted and quite proficient craft very early on in Chinese history, it has deteriorated through the ages. Despite the fact that anaesthetic agents in major surgery were employed during the third century, Chinese surgery is conspicuous by its stagnation. Reverence for the dead, filial piety, abhorrence of shedding blood and other conservative attitudes make it impossible for any accurate knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology, without which surgery cannot progress. This article surveys some highlights in the history of surgery in ancient China and examines the factors responsible for its decline. The second concluding part deals with orthopaedics.

  11. Safety analysis of an ancient iron structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kweon, Young Gak; Yoon, Byeng Hyun; Lim, Jae Kyun; Lee, Sung Bum

    2002-01-01

    Safety analysis of an ancient iron structure, Danggan, constructed over than a thousand years ago was performed. The structure is consisted of 24 iron cylinders of which the total height is about 15.4 m. The analysis was done by the ultrasonic test to measure thickness of each cylinder, the radiographic test to investigate the inside of cylinders, the measurement of inclination of the structure and the structural analysis to estimate the stress level applied by the wind. Results showed that Danggan structure was on state being well safe at present, but it could be dangerous when the inclination of the structure becomes severely progressive.

  12. Colchicine: an ancient drug with novel applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgeb, B; Kornreich, D; McGuinn, K; Okon, L; Brownell, I; Sackett, D L

    2018-02-01

    Colchicine is a treatment for gout that has been used for more than a millennium. It is the treatment of choice for familial Mediterranean fever and its associated complication, amyloidosis. The 2009 U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of colchicine as a new drug had research consequences. Recent investigations with large cohorts of patients with gout who have been taking colchicine for years have demonstrated novel applications within oncology, immunology, cardiology and dermatology. Some emerging dermatological uses include the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, leucocytoclastic vasculitis, aphthous stomatitis and others. In this work we relate the history and the new horizon of this ancient medicine. © 2017 British Association of Dermatologists.

  13. Suicide and parasuicide in ancient personal testimonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hooff, A J

    1993-01-01

    Attitudes toward suicide have not always been the same as they are today, and understanding the ideas of other cultures and times could enable us to reexamine contemporary conceptions of self-killing. Greek and Roman personal testimonies were examined to investigate the thesis that ancients did not see suicide as caused by psychic or emotional forces. Indeed, though the documents of antiquity give us a closer look into personal motives, they demonstrate that even would-be self-killers themselves wished to regard suicide as a rational act of volition.

  14. [Ancient clinical application of massage therapy on navel].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xing-Yue; Ma, Yu-Xiao; Tian, Si-Sheng; Gao, Shu-Zhong

    2014-07-01

    To further explore the clinical effect of massage therapy on navel,the related ancient literatures were arranged and analyzed,and several methods in ancient clinical were introduced, including stroking navel, rubbing navel, pushing navel, tapping navel and puffing navel. In addition, the theoretical basis of massage therapy on navel were discussed. The results revealed ancient literatures offered abundant theoretical basis to modern clinical practice, and there were evidences of treating gastroenteric and gynecological diseases with this therapy. Comprehensively, through the study of ancient literatures and modern research, therapy of massage on navel is believed to be promising and will gain popularity in the future.

  15. China: A Simulation of Ancient Chung Kuo, the World's Most Ancient Civilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargent, Marcia; Baral, Wanda

    This simulation allows students to participate in the "ways" of ancient Chinese history and culture. The unit is organized into five major phases or "li's." Students may spend about one week on activities in each "li" which focuses on a major aspect of Chinese history, culture, or geography. In each "li"…

  16. History through Art and Architecture: Ancient Greek Architecture [and] Ancient Greek Sculpture. Teacher's Manual.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Ann

    This document consists of two teaching manuals designed to accompany a commercially-available "multicultural, interdisciplinary video program," consisting of four still videotape programs (72 minutes, 226 frames), one teaching poster, and these two manuals. "Teacher's Manual: Ancient Greek Architecture" covers: "Ancient…

  17. Psychorheology of food dispersions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Štern, Petr; Panovská, Z.; Pokorný, J.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 58, č. 1 (2010), s. 29-35 ISSN 0042-790X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA2060404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z20600510 Keywords : psychorheology * food dispersions * tomato ketchup * rheology * sensory analysis Subject RIV: BK - Fluid Dynamics Impact factor: 0.553, year: 2010

  18. Spatially Dispersed Employee Recovery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvass, Kristian Anders; Torfadóttir, Embla

    2014-01-01

    personnel achieve service recovery. Employee recovery within service research often focuses on front-line employees that work in a fixed location, however a contribution to the field is made by investigating the recovery of spatially dispersed personnel, such as operational personnel in the transport sector...

  19. Interface, a dispersed architecture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vissers, C.A.

    1976-01-01

    Past and current specification techniques use timing diagrams and written text to describe the phenomenology of an interface. This paper treats an interface as the architecture of a number of processes, which are dispersed over the related system parts and the message path. This approach yields a

  20. Coping with power dispersion?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2014-01-01

    how the actors involved cope with the new configurations. In this introduction, we discuss the conceptualization of power dispersion and highlight the ways in which the contributions add to this research agenda. We then outline some general conclusions and end by indicating future avenues of research...

  1. A dispersion control chart

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riaz, M.

    2008-01-01

    The study proposes a Shewhart-type control chart, namely Q chart, based on inter-quartile range, for monitoring changes (especially of moderate and large amounts which is major concern of Shewhart-type control charts) in process dispersion assuming normality of quality characteristic to be

  2. Turbulence and Dispersion

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    phenomenon and this is the topic of the present article. Dispersion. Watch smoke flowing out of a chimney2. On a quiet day, it is seen that after rising for a small distance, the smoke stream bends and flows along with the wind. This is to be expected since the smoke particles are carried, or in technical terminology, convected ...

  3. Mitochondrial phylogenomics of modern and ancient equids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilstrup, Julia T; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Stiller, Mathias; Ginolhac, Aurelien; Raghavan, Maanasa; Nielsen, Sandra C A; Weinstock, Jacobo; Froese, Duane; Vasiliev, Sergei K; Ovodov, Nikolai D; Clary, Joel; Helgen, Kristofer M; Fleischer, Robert C; Cooper, Alan; Shapiro, Beth; Orlando, Ludovic

    2013-01-01

    The genus Equus is richly represented in the fossil record, yet our understanding of taxonomic relationships within this genus remains limited. To estimate the phylogenetic relationships among modern horses, zebras, asses and donkeys, we generated the first data set including complete mitochondrial sequences from all seven extant lineages within the genus Equus. Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic inference confirms that zebras are monophyletic within the genus, and the Plains and Grevy's zebras form a well-supported monophyletic group. Using ancient DNA techniques, we further characterize the complete mitochondrial genomes of three extinct equid lineages (the New World stilt-legged horses, NWSLH; the subgenus Sussemionus; and the Quagga, Equus quagga quagga). Comparisons with extant taxa confirm the NWSLH as being part of the caballines, and the Quagga and Plains zebras as being conspecific. However, the evolutionary relationships among the non-caballine lineages, including the now-extinct subgenus Sussemionus, remain unresolved, most likely due to extremely rapid radiation within this group. The closest living outgroups (rhinos and tapirs) were found to be too phylogenetically distant to calibrate reliable molecular clocks. Additional mitochondrial genome sequence data, including radiocarbon dated ancient equids, will be required before revisiting the exact timing of the lineage radiation leading up to modern equids, which for now were found to have possibly shared a common ancestor as far as up to 4 Million years ago (Mya).

  4. Mitochondrial phylogenomics of modern and ancient equids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia T Vilstrup

    Full Text Available The genus Equus is richly represented in the fossil record, yet our understanding of taxonomic relationships within this genus remains limited. To estimate the phylogenetic relationships among modern horses, zebras, asses and donkeys, we generated the first data set including complete mitochondrial sequences from all seven extant lineages within the genus Equus. Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic inference confirms that zebras are monophyletic within the genus, and the Plains and Grevy's zebras form a well-supported monophyletic group. Using ancient DNA techniques, we further characterize the complete mitochondrial genomes of three extinct equid lineages (the New World stilt-legged horses, NWSLH; the subgenus Sussemionus; and the Quagga, Equus quagga quagga. Comparisons with extant taxa confirm the NWSLH as being part of the caballines, and the Quagga and Plains zebras as being conspecific. However, the evolutionary relationships among the non-caballine lineages, including the now-extinct subgenus Sussemionus, remain unresolved, most likely due to extremely rapid radiation within this group. The closest living outgroups (rhinos and tapirs were found to be too phylogenetically distant to calibrate reliable molecular clocks. Additional mitochondrial genome sequence data, including radiocarbon dated ancient equids, will be required before revisiting the exact timing of the lineage radiation leading up to modern equids, which for now were found to have possibly shared a common ancestor as far as up to 4 Million years ago (Mya.

  5. [Heat and Fever in ancient Greek physiology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeo, In-Sok

    2009-12-01

    This paper aims at clarifying the relationship of physiological heat and pathological heat(fever) using the theoretical scheme of Georges Canguilhem as is argued in his famous book The Normal and the Pathologic. Ancient authors had presented various views on the innate heat and pathological heat. Some argued that there is only pathological heat while others, like Galen, distinguished two different kinds of heat. Galen was the first medial author who had the clear notion of the relationship between the normal heat and the pathological heat. He conceptualized their difference as the heat conforming to nature (kata phusin) and the heat against nature (para phusin). However, the Peripatetic authors, such as ps-Alexander Aphrodisias, who laid more emphasis on physiology tended to regard pathology in continuation with physiology as Claude Bernard attempted to do it. Therefore, Canguilhem's theoretical scheme turns out to be very useful in analysing the relationship of normal heat and pathological heat as is manifested in ancient Greek physiology.

  6. Antikythera Mechanism and the Ancient World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. N. Safronov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In this historical review, the opinions of Ancient Greece philosophers, astronomers, and poets such as Thales Milesian, Pythagoras, Plato, Eudoxus, Aristotle, Archimedes, Cicero, Diogenes Laertius, Iamblichus, Plutarch, Homer, and Aratus about the planet position calculations and about the possibility of predictions of natural phenomena are analyzed. The planet positions were predicted before Eudoxus (probably before Philolaus by a spindle of Ananke and after Eudoxus by Antikythera mechanism. Following Pythagoras and Plato, it is established that the regular seismoacoustic observations were performed. In the Ancient World in the Mediterranean area, there was an extensive network of acoustic stations (~10 pcs, which were located in close proximity to the geologic faults. Also, it is shown that the ship that was carrying Antikythera mechanism (A-Ship was built in 244 BC in Syracuse with direct participation of Archimedes and Archias from Corinthian. Later, the A-Ship was a part of the Roman Republic safety system. The grain volumes, which were delivered to Rome city by large grain vessels, and the population of Rome city in the period 74–71 BC were estimated. Planetary calculator might be used for the chronology of the historical events as a backward prediction in addition to present Radiocarbon dating and Dendrochronology methods.

  7. Ancient eclipses and the Earth's rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, L. V.; Stephenson, F. R.

    Observations of ancient and medieval eclipses are compared with predictions to measure changes in the Earth's rotation over the past 2500 years. The observations are treated in two broad categories: untimed and timed. An untimed observation must have the place and date, but not the time, as the special geometry of the eclipse path essentially supplies this. A timed observation requires the time of day of the eclipse as well as the date and place. In the period 700BC to AD1600 we have found 106 reliable untimed and 343 timed observations of solar and lunar eclipses recorded by the ancient/medieval civilizations of Babylon, China, the Arab Dominions and Europe. Analyses of these two independent datasets lead to the conclusion that the rate of rotation is decreasing, such that the length of the day (lod) is increasing on the average by 1.8 milliseconds per century (ms/cy). This is consistent to within the accuracy of measurement with the resultant sum of a tidal increase of 2.3 ms/cy and a decrease of 0.5 ms/cy due to post-glacial uplift following the end of the last ice-age. Besides these secular changes, there is clear evidence of fluctuations in the lod of several ms on a timescale of centuries.

  8. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of ancient Peruvian highlanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinoda, Ken-ichi; Adachi, Noboru; Guillen, Sonia; Shimada, Izumi

    2006-09-01

    Ancient DNA recovered from 57 individuals excavated by Hiram Bingham at the rural communities of Paucarcancha, Patallacta, and Huata near the famed Inca royal estate and ritual site of Machu Picchu was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction, and the results were compared with ancient and modern DNA from various Central Andean areas to test their hypothesized indigenous highland origins. The control and coding regions of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 35 individuals in this group were sequenced, and the haplogroups of each individual were determined. The frequency data for the haplogroups of these samples show clear proximity to those of modern Quechua and Aymara populations in the Peruvian and Bolivian highlands, and contrast with those of pre-Hispanic individuals of the north coast of Peru that we defined previously. Our study suggests a strong genetic affinity between sampled late pre-Hispanic individuals and modern Andean highlanders. A previous analysis of the Machu Picchu osteological collection suggests that the residents there were a mixed group of natives from various coastal and highland regions relocated by the Inca state for varied purposes. Overall, our study indicates that the sampled individuals from Paucarcancha and Patallacta were indigenous highlanders who provided supportive roles for nearby Machu Picchu. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. The Vindolanda Tablets and the Ancient Economy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Evers, Kasper Grønlund

    The Vindolanda Tablets are rightly famous for the insights they provide into the life of Roman auxiliaries on the province of Britain’s northern frontier around the turn of the first century AD. Various authors over the years have dealt with the archaeological excavations at Vindolanda, the evide......The Vindolanda Tablets are rightly famous for the insights they provide into the life of Roman auxiliaries on the province of Britain’s northern frontier around the turn of the first century AD. Various authors over the years have dealt with the archaeological excavations at Vindolanda...... of research on both studies of the ancient economy and the economy of early Roman Britain is accounted for, so as to highlight the value of the Vindolanda Tablets and lay the ground for the interpretations which follow. Secondly, the economic activities attested by the tablets are analysed in terms of market......, a model is outlined which takes into account the different economic behaviours revealed by the tablets and attempts to fit them together into one coherent, economic system, whilst also relating the activities to questions of scale in the ancient economy; moreover, the conclusions drawn in the study...

  10. Ancient and Medieval Earth in Armenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmanyan, S. V.

    2015-07-01

    Humankind has always sought to recognize the nature of various sky related phenomena and tried to give them explanations. The purpose of this study is to identify ancient Armenians' pantheistic and cosmological perceptions, world view, notions and beliefs related to the Earth. The paper focuses on the structure of the Earth and many other phenomena of nature that have always been on a major influence on ancient Armenians thinking. In this paper we have compared the term Earth in 31 languages. By discussing and comparing Universe structure in various regional traditions, myths, folk songs and phraseological units we very often came across to "Seven Heavens" (Seven heavens is a part of religious cosmology found in many major religions such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity (namely Catholicism) and "Seven Earths". Armenians in their turn divided Earth and Heavens into seven layers. And in science too, both the Earth and the Heavens have 7 layers. The Seven Heavens refer to the layers of our atmosphere. The Seven Earths refer to the layers of the Earth (from core to crust), as well as seven continents. We conclude that the perception of celestial objects varies from culture to culture and preastronomy had a significant impact on humankind, particularly on cultural diversities.

  11. Mythological Emblem Glyphs of Ancient Maya Kings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helmke, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Heinrich Berlin’s identification of Emblem Glyphs in 1958 has rightly been hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in the decipherment of ancient Maya writing. Although their exact function and meaning was unclear at the time, these are now recognized to serve as exalted regal titles that incorp......Heinrich Berlin’s identification of Emblem Glyphs in 1958 has rightly been hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in the decipherment of ancient Maya writing. Although their exact function and meaning was unclear at the time, these are now recognized to serve as exalted regal titles...... that incorporate toponyms, or place names. However, what interests me here is not so much the geo-political importance of Emblem Glyphs, but the toponyms that are used to form these. Many of the toponyms that are the basis of Emblem Glyphs can now be read and can be matched up with corresponding places. In pairing...... off the Emblem Glyphs with their earthly referents, one is left with a peculiar group of toponyms that are clearly otherworldly. It is these supernatural Emblem Glyphs that I would like to discuss here and the role they played in legitimizing the monarchs that bore these, as titles that hark back...

  12. The top of the Olduvai subchron in a high-resolution magnetostratigraphy from the West Turkana core WTK13, Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sier, Mark; Langereis, Cor; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Feibel, Craig; Jordeens, Jose; van der Lubbe, Jeroen; Beck, Catherine; Olago, Daniel; Cohen, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    One of the major challenges in understanding the evolution of our own species is identifying the role climate change has played in the evolution of earlier hominin species. To clarify the influence of climate, we need long and continuous high-resolution paleoclimate records, preferably obtained from hominin-bearing sediments, that are well-dated by tephro- and magnetostratigraphy and other methods. This is hindered, however, by the fact that fossil-bearing sediments are often discontinuous, and subject to weathering, which may lead to oxidation and remagnetization. To obtain fresh, unweathered sediments, the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) collected a 216- meter core (WTK13) in 2013 from deposits of Early Pleistocene paleolake Lorenyang in the western Turkana Basin (Kenya). Here, we present the magnetostratigraphy of the core. Rock magnetic analyses reveal the presence of iron sulphides carrying the remanent magnetizations. To recover polarity orientation from the near-equatorial WTK13 core drilled at 5°N, we developed and successfully applied two independent drill-core reorientation methods taking advantage of (1) the sedimentary fabric as expressed in the Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS) and (2) the occurrence of a viscous component oriented in the present day field. The reoriented directions reveal a normal to reversed polarity reversal identified as the top of the Olduvai subchron. From this excellent record, we find no evidence for the 'Vrica subchron' previously reported in the area. We suggest that outcrop-based interpretations supporting the presence of the Vrica subchron have been affected by the oxidation of iron sulphides initially present in the sediments as evident in the core record, and by subsequent remagnetization. Based on our new high-resolution magnetostratigraphy and stratigraphic markers, we provide constraints for an initial age model of the WTK13 core. We discuss the implications of the observed geomagnetic

  13. Preserved microstructure and mineral distribution in tooth and periodontal tissues in early fossil hominin material from Koobi Fora, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinge, R Furseth; Dean, M C; Risnes, S; Erambert, M; Gunnaes, A E

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to explore further the preservation of tissues and the mineral distribution in 1.6 million-year-old fossil hominin material from Koobi Fora, Kenya attributed to Paranthropus boisei (KNM-ER 1817). Bone, dentine and cementum microstructure were well preserved. Electron microprobe analysis of dentine and bone revealed an F-bearing apatite. Calcite now filled the original soft tissue spaces. The average Ca/P atomic ratio was 1.93, as compared to 1.67 in biological hydroxyapatite, indicating that the Ca-content had increased during fossilization. Analytical sums for mineral content were approximately 90 wt%. Some of the remaining 10 wt% may be preserved organic material. Demineralized dentine fragments showed irregularly distributed tubules encircled with a fibrous-like electron-dense material. A similar material was observed in demineralized dentine. Within this, structures resembling bacteria were seen. In demineralized bone an electron-dense material with a fibrous appearance and a banding pattern that repeated every 64 nm, similar to that of collagen, was noted. SEM of an enamel fragment (KNM-ER 6081) showed signs of demineralization/remineralization. Retzius lines, Hunter-Schreger bands and prism cross-striations spaced 3.7-7.1.microm apart were noted. Prisms were arranged in a pattern 3 configuration and deeper areas containing aprismatic enamel were occasionally observed. We conclude that a great deal of informative microstructure and ultrastructure remains preserved in this fossil material. We also hypothesize that the high mineral content of the tissues may 'protect' parts of the organic matrix from degradation, since our findings indicate that some organic matrix may still be present. Copyright (c) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. The age of the hominin fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the origins of the Middle Stone Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Daniel; Grün, Rainer; Joannes-Boyau, Renaud; Steele, Teresa E; Amani, Fethi; Rué, Mathieu; Fernandes, Paul; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Geraads, Denis; Ben-Ncer, Abdelouahed; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; McPherron, Shannon P

    2017-06-07

    The timing and location of the emergence of our species and of associated behavioural changes are crucial for our understanding of human evolution. The earliest fossil attributed to a modern form of Homo sapiens comes from eastern Africa and is approximately 195 thousand years old, therefore the emergence of modern human biology is commonly placed at around 200 thousand years ago. The earliest Middle Stone Age assemblages come from eastern and southern Africa but date much earlier. Here we report the ages, determined by thermoluminescence dating, of fire-heated flint artefacts obtained from new excavations at the Middle Stone Age site of Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, which are directly associated with newly discovered remains of H. sapiens. A weighted average age places these Middle Stone Age artefacts and fossils at 315 ± 34 thousand years ago. Support is obtained through the recalculated uranium series with electron spin resonance date of 286 ± 32 thousand years ago for a tooth from the Irhoud 3 hominin mandible. These ages are also consistent with the faunal and microfaunal assemblages and almost double the previous age estimates for the lower part of the deposits. The north African site of Jebel Irhoud contains one of the earliest directly dated Middle Stone Age assemblages, and its associated human remains are the oldest reported for H. sapiens. The emergence of our species and of the Middle Stone Age appear to be close in time, and these data suggest a larger scale, potentially pan-African, origin for both.

  15. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP): Understanding the paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic context of human origins through continental drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Andrew S.; Campisano, Christopher; Asrat, Asfawossen; Arrowsmith, Ramon; Deino, Alan; Feibel, Craig; Hill, Andrew; Kingston, John; Lamb, Henry; Lowenstein, Tim; Olago, Daniel; Bernhart Owen, R.; Renaut, Robin; Schabitz, Frank; Trauth, Martin

    2015-04-01

    The influence of climate and environmental history on human evolution is an existential question that continues to be hotly debated, in part because of the paucity of high resolution records collected in close proximity to the key fossil and archaeological evidence. To address this issue and transform the scientific debate, the HSPDP was developed to collect lacustrine sediment drill cores from basins in Kenya and Ethiopia that collectively encompass critical time intervals and locations for Plio-Quaternary human evolution in East Africa. After a 17 month campaign, drilling was completed in November, 2014, with over 1750m of core collected from 11 boreholes from five areas (1930m total drilling length, avg. 91% recovery). The sites, from oldest to youngest, include 1) N. Awash, Ethiopia (~3.5-2.9Ma core interval); 2) Baringo-Tugen Hills, Kenya (~3.3-2.5Ma); 3) West Turkana, Kenya (~1.9-1.4Ma); L. Magadi, Kenya (0.8-0Ma) and the Chew Bahir Basin, Ethiopia (~0.5-0Ma). Initial core description (ICD) and sampling for geochronology, geochemistry and paleoecology studies had been completed by mid2014, with the two remaining sites (Magadi and Chew Bahir) scheduled for ICD work in early 2015. Whereas the primary scientific targets were the lacustrine deposits from the hominin-bearing basin depocenters, many intervals of paleosols (representative of low lake stands and probable arid periods) were also encountered in drill cores. Preliminary analyses of drill core sedimentology and geochemistry show both long-term lake level changes and cyclic variability in lake levels, both of which may be indicative of climatic forcing events of interest to paleoanthropologists. Authors of this abstract also include the entire HSPDP field team.

  16. Shared human-chimpanzee pattern of perinatal femoral shaft morphology and its implications for the evolution of hominin locomotor adaptations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoki Morimoto

    Full Text Available Acquisition of bipedality is a hallmark of human evolution. How bipedality evolved from great ape-like locomotor behaviors, however, is still highly debated. This is mainly because it is difficult to infer locomotor function, and even more so locomotor kinematics, from fossil hominin long bones. Structure-function relationships are complex, as long bone morphology reflects phyletic history, developmental programs, and loading history during an individual's lifetime. Here we discriminate between these factors by investigating the morphology of long bones in fetal and neonate great apes and humans, before the onset of locomotion.Comparative morphometric analysis of the femoral diaphysis indicates that its morphology reflects phyletic relationships between hominoid taxa to a greater extent than taxon-specific locomotor adaptations. Diaphyseal morphology in humans and chimpanzees exhibits several shared-derived features, despite substantial differences in locomotor adaptations. Orangutan and gorilla morphologies are largely similar, and likely represent the primitive hominoid state.These findings are compatible with two possible evolutionary scenarios. Diaphyseal morphology may reflect retained adaptive traits of ancestral taxa, hence human-chimpanzee shared-derived features may be indicative of the locomotor behavior of our last common ancestor. Alternatively, diaphyseal morphology might reflect evolution by genetic drift (neutral evolution rather than selection, and might thus be more informative about phyletic relationships between taxa than about locomotor adaptations. Both scenarios are consistent with the hypothesis that knuckle-walking in chimpanzees and gorillas resulted from convergent evolution, and that the evolution of human bipedality is unrelated to extant great ape locomotor specializations.

  17. The apportionment of tooth size and its implications in Australopithecus sediba versus other Plio-pleistocene and recent African hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irish, Joel D; Hemphill, Brian E; de Ruiter, Darryl J; Berger, Lee R

    2016-11-01

    Australopithecus sediba is characterized further by providing formerly unpublished and refined mesiodistal and buccolingual crown measurements in the MH1 and MH2 specimens. After size correction, these data were compared with those in other fossil and recent samples to facilitate additional insight into diachronic hominin affinities. Six comparative samples consist of fossil species: A. africanus, A. afarensis, Homo habilis, Paranthropus robustus, P. boisei, and H. erectus. Others comprise H. sapiens and Pan troglodytes. Re-estimates of "actual" dimensions in damaged A. sediba teeth were effected through repeated measurements by independent observers. X-ray synchrotron microtomography allowed measurement of crowns obscured by matrix and noneruption. Tooth size apportionment analysis, an established technique for intraspecific comparisons, was then applied at this interspecific level to assess phenetic affinities using both within- and among-group data. Comparison of these highly heritable dimensions identified a general trend for smaller posterior relative to larger anterior teeth (not including canines), contra Paranthropus, that allies A. sediba with other australopiths and Homo; however, specific reductions and/or shape variation in the species' canines, third premolars, and anterior molars relative to the other teeth mirror the patterning characteristic of Homo. Of all samples, including east African australopiths, A. sediba appears most like H. habilis, H. erectus and H. sapiens regarding how crown size is apportioned along the tooth rows. These findings parallel those in prior studies of dental and other skeletal data, including several that suggest A. sediba is a close relative of, if not ancestral to, Homo. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Application of nuclear analysis techniques in ancient chinese porcelain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng Songlin; Xu Qing; Feng Xiangqian; Lei Yong; Cheng Lin; Wang Yanqing

    2005-01-01

    Ancient ceramic was fired with porcelain clay. It contains various provenance information and age characteristic. It is the scientific foundation of studying Chinese porcelain to analyze and research the ancient ceramic with modern analysis methods. According to the property of nuclear analysis technique, its function and application are discussed. (authors)

  19. The relationship between ancient trees health and soil properties

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2011-12-07

    Dec 7, 2011 ... Full Length Research Paper. The relationship between ancient trees ... chemical properties, and the relationship between the ancient trees health level and their soil physical and chemical properties. ..... situation on soil nutrients and fertilization in eucalyptus plantations in. GuangXi. Soil and Fertilizer Sci.

  20. Criticisms of Segal's Interpretation of the Ancient Greek Pentathlon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barney, Robert Knight

    This paper examines the ancient Greek pentathlon as it was conducted during the Olympic games. The pentathlon was comprised of five sub-exercises: (1) the jump; (2) the discus throw; (3) the javelin throw; (4) the stade run; and (5) wrestling. Using scholarship in the fields of archaeology, ancient poetry and legends, and pictorial evidence such…

  1. Sin, Punishment And Forgiveness In Ancient Greek Religion: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper looks in particular at the special sin of hubris in ancient Greek religious thought. It examines what constitutes hubris and some cases in which hubris has been committed and punished. It demonstrates with examples that hubris is an unforgivable sin in ancient Greek religion and examines the reasons for this ...

  2. Attitudes to Ancient Greek in Three Schools: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Frances

    2018-01-01

    This study comes in response to recent changes in UK policy, whereby Ancient Greek and Latin have been included alongside modern languages as part of the curriculum at Key Stage 2. It aims to understand how Ancient Greek is surviving and thriving in three different types of schools. After a short overview of the history of Greek teaching in the…

  3. Deep sequencing of RNA from ancient maize kernels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fordyce, Sarah Louise; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen; Rasmussen, Morten

    2013-01-01

    The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited - perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We hy...

  4. Translation: an example from ancient Chinese to modern Chinese

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X; Hoede, C.

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, we gave an idea of translation by means of knowledge graph theory from ancient Chinese to modern Chinese, by using an example story. Actually, we give the details of the method of translation from ancient Chinese to modern Chinese step by step as carried out by hand. From the example,

  5. Possible objections to a philosophical approach to ancient Israelite ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There exists a certain consensus amongst biblical scholars that involving philosophy in the attempt to understand ancient Israelite religion is hermeneutically fallacious. A philosophical approach to ancient Yahwism is considered out of place, given the non-philosophical nature of the Hebrew Bible, the normative concerns of ...

  6. Notions of "Rhetoric as Epistemic" in Ancient Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, William L.

    The notion that rhetoric (and to a lesser extent, argument) is epistemic is an increasingly popular one today, although it can be traced to ancient Greece. The notion holds that rhetoric, or the art of persuasion, creates and shapes knowledge. Two ancient authors--Aristophanes and Plato--provide evidence that others had notions of rhetoric as…

  7. An Ancient Inca Tax and Metallurgy in Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journal of Chemical Education, 2007

    2007-01-01

    The discovery of ancient Inca tax rulers and other metallurgical objects in Peru show that the ancient civilizations of the country smelted metals. The analysis shows that the smelters in Peru switched from the production of copper to silver after a tax was imposed on them by the Inca rulers.

  8. Mapping The Ancient Maya Landscape From Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sever, Tom; Arnold, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Peten region of northern Guatemala is one of the last places on earth where major archeological sites remain to be discovered. It was in this region that the Maya civilization began, flourished, and abruptly disappeared. Remote sensing technology is helping to locate and map ancient Maya sites that are threatened today by accelerating deforestation and looting. Thematic Mapper and IKONOS satellite and airborne Star3-I radar data, combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, are successfully detecting ancient Maya features such as cities, roadways, canals, and water reservoirs. Satellite imagery is also being used to map the bajos, which are seasonally flooded swamps that cover over 40% of the land surface. The use of bajos for farming has been a source of debate within the professional community for many years. But the recent detection and verification of cultural features within the bajo system by our research team are providing conclusive evidence that the ancient Maya had adapted well to wetland environments from the earliest times and utilized them until the time of the Maya collapse. The use of the bajos for farming is also an important resource for the future of the current inhabitants who are experiencing rapid population growth. Remote sensing imagery is also demonstrating that in the Preclassic period (600 BC- AD 250), the Maya had already achieved a high organizational level as evidenced by the construction of massive temples and an elaborate inter-connecting roadway system. Although they experienced several setbacks such as droughts and hurricanes, the Maya nevertheless managed the delicate forest ecosystem successfully for several centuries. However, around AD 800, something happened to the Maya to cause their rapid decline and eventual disappearance from the region. The evidence indicates that at this time there was increased climatic dryness, extensive deforestation, overpopulation, and widespread warfare. This raises a question that

  9. Information about Macedonian medicine in ancient Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannouli, Vaitsa; Syrmos, Nikolaos

    2011-01-01

    Ancient Greek Macedonians were highly interested in the improvement of their physical and psychological health. At first, they worshiped the mythical god Asclepius and his daughter Hygieia. In at least 24 places in northern Greece, in Halkidiki, Thessaloniki, Kozani, Kavala, Thassos, Serres and other places, archaelogical findings were related to Asclepius. Macedonian kings were also interested in the development of medicine, for the sake of their fellow citizens and their soldiers. Characteristic examples are the close relations of Hippocrates with king Perdikas (5(th) century B.C.) and of Nicomachus (Aristotle's father being a physician) with king Amintas. Alexander the Great had as his personal physician, the famous physician Philippos of Acarnania. An incident between Alexander and Philippos of Acarnania shows the respect of Macedonian kings to their doctors: Alexander became ill after a bath in the frozen river Cydnus (near ancient Tarsus). At this time he received a letter from his general Parmenion for not to trust his physician. Alexander gave this letter to Philippos to read it and while Philippos was reading it and was rather frightened, he saw Alexander drinking the medicine he had given him. We may note that Alexander the Great as a student of Aristotle had a general education about medicine. Archaeological findings revealed two funerary monuments of physicians: a doctor from Thasos, who practiced in Pella as a public physician during the 3rd quarter of the 4(th) century B.C. and a physician named Alexander, who lived in the 1rst half of the 5(th) century A.D. The tomb of a third physician, probably a surgeon, excavated in Pydna, near mount Olympus (3(rd) century BC)also indicates the importance of physicians in Macedonia. Archaeological findings, like surgical knives, from the Hellinistic and Roman periods, found in the city of Veria, also showed the respect of Ancient Greeks to medicine and to their physicians. An example is the skeleton of a young

  10. [Changes of marriage age in ancient China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, D

    1991-04-01

    The changes in age of marriage in ancient China can be classified into 3 periods. Around 680 B.C., the government set the age of marriage at 20 for men and at 15 for women. Even though it was written in the works of the Confucian school that men should marry at 30 and women at 20, it was never really followed. The Wei and Jin dynasties provided the longest periods of war and social instability. Large numbers of population died because of war or famine. Because heavy taxes were collected on each member of family, many families did not report marriage or childbirth. In order to encourage childbirth, the government reduced the age of marriage to 15 for men and 13 for women. Administrative and legislative regulation were introduced to force people to marry early, especially women. Incentives were given to families with more women. These policies was enforced due to the imbalance of the sex ratio and reduction of population size. As female infanticides were prevalent because of differential values placed on male and female children, it was difficult for men to find partners to marry. Shortage of women was also the result of the polygamy of the rich and the aristocracy. The imbalance of the sex ratio forced women to marry early. Nevertheless, women getting married too early were not fertile. Infant or child mortality was high among children of young mothers. From the Song to the Ching dynasties, the age of marriage was set at 16 for men and 14 for women. In the ancient times, the population of China was around 60-70 million before the Ching dynasty. Generally speaking, the population size was small. Early marriage was necessary and feasible. Even though fertility in ancient times was high, mortality has high also. Life expectancy ranged form 22 to 35. People needed to marry early and have children early to replace themselves. On the other hand, large land areas and inefficient production tools required a larger labor force. Large population size also represented

  11. Dispersed flow film boiling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreani, M.; Yadigaroglu, G.

    1989-12-01

    Dispersed flow film boiling is the heat transfer regime that occurs at high void fractions in a heated channel. The way this transfer mode is modelled in the NRC computer codes (RELAP5 and TRAC) and the validity of the assumption and empirical correlations used is discussed. An extensive review of the theoretical and experimental work related with heat transfer to highly dispersed mixtures reveals the basic deficiencies of these models: the investigation refers mostly to the typical conditions of low rate bottom reflooding, since the simulation of this physical situation by the computer codes has often showed poor results. The alternative models that are available in the literature are reviewed, and their merits and limits are highlighted. The modification that could improve the physics of the models implemented in the codes are identified. (author) 13 figs., 123 refs

  12. Working document dispersion models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dop, H. van

    1988-01-01

    This report is a summary of the most important results from June 1985 of the collaboration of the RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environment Hygiene) and KNMI (Royal Dutch Meteorologic Institute) on the domain of dispersion models. It contains a short description of the actual SO x /NO x -model. Furthermore it contains recommendations for modifications of some numerical-mathematical aspects and an impulse to a more complete description of chemical processes in the atmosphere and the (wet) deposition process. A separate chapter is devoted to the preparation of meteorologic data which are relevant for dispersion as well as atmospheric chemistry and deposition. This report serves as working document for the final formulation of a acidifying- and oxidant-model. (H.W.). 69 refs.; 51 figs.; 13 tabs.; 3 schemes

  13. Exploring Ancient Skies An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, David H

    2005-01-01

    Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers - events such as the supernova of 1054, the 'lion horoscope' or the 'Star of Bethlehem.' Exploring An...

  14. Fingerprint elements scatter analysis on ancient chinese Ru porcelains samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Zhengyao; Wang Jie; Chen Xiande

    1997-01-01

    Altogether 28 samples, mainly including glazes and bodies of ancient Chinese Ru porcelain, were analyzed by NAA technique and the contents of 36 elements were compared. The scatter analysis for nine fingerprint-elements indicates that almost all ancient Chinese Ru porcelain samples had nearly identical and long-term stable source of raw materials although they were fired in different kilns, at varying time and with distinct colors, and moreover, the source of raw materials for modern Ru porcelain seems to approach that for ancient one. The close provenance relation between ancient Jun porcelain and ancient Ru porcelain is also preliminarily verified. The glaze material of Jingdezhen white porcelain is totally different from all other samples. It shows that the former came from a separate source

  15. [Ancientness and maturity: two complementary qualities of forest ecosystems].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cateau, Eugénie; Larrieu, Laurent; Vallauri, Daniel; Savoie, Jean-Marie; Touroult, Julien; Brustel, Hervé

    2015-01-01

    Ancientness and maturity are two major qualities of forest ecosystems. They are components of naturalness and are affected by human impact. These qualities and the associated terms are often mixed up and incorrectly used. We have carried out a synthesis in order to propose an adapted French terminology based on international literature. The topics of ancientness and maturity for biodiversity and soil characteristics are explained. This review leads us to submit different potential thresholds for ancientness and maturity. An analysis on ancientness and maturity on forest data for France leads to the conclusion that about 29% of all forests can be considered "ancient woodland", and less than 3% of the even-age forest is older than the harvesting age. Copyright © 2014 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Phonon dispersion in Be

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharma, R.P.; Sharma, A.K.; Sharma, S.; Sinha, H.P.

    1979-01-01

    In a study of the lattice dynamics of Be a simple scheme has been developed in which the pairwise and long range forces are accounted on the lines of nonlocal theory and the short range three-body forces are included. This procedure of calculations has been applied to compute the phonon dispersion in Be and the results of investigation have been compared with the experimental data. (author)

  17. Taylor dispersion of nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balog, Sandor; Urban, Dominic A.; Milosevic, Ana M.; Crippa, Federica; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara; Petri-Fink, Alke

    2017-08-01

    The ability to detect and accurately characterize particles is required by many fields of nanotechnology, including materials science, nanotoxicology, and nanomedicine. Among the most relevant physicochemical properties of nanoparticles, size and the related surface-to-volume ratio are fundamental ones. Taylor dispersion combines three independent phenomena to determine particle size: optical extinction, translational diffusion, and sheer-enhanced dispersion of nanoparticles subjected to a steady laminar flow. The interplay of these defines the apparent size. Considering that particles in fact are never truly uniform nor monodisperse, we rigorously address particle polydispersity and calculate the apparent particle size measured by Taylor dispersion analysis. We conducted case studies addressing aqueous suspensions of model particles and large-scale-produced "industrial" particles of both academic and commercial interest of various core materials and sizes, ranging from 15 to 100 nm. A comparison with particle sizes determined by transmission electron microscopy confirms that our approach is model-independent, non-parametric, and of general validity that provides an accurate account of size polydispersity—independently on the shape of the size distribution and without any assumption required a priori.

  18. Trace elements in ancient ceramics: Pt.4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Huhou; Sun Yongjun; Zhang Xiangdong

    1987-01-01

    In the last period of Tong Dynasty, Jingdezhen began its production of ceramics. During the Song Dynasty, the ceramic industry greatly developed and produced fine white ware at Hutian. In the Yuan Dynastry, Hutian became the centre of production making the world famous blue and white wares. Here are reported results of analyses of ancient porcelians of Hutian in Jiangdezhen by reactor neutron activation analysis. The results show that the patterns of eight rare earth elements are apparently different for products in different periods, indicating that methods for producing ceramics or kinds of clay used were different. The contents of some other trace elements such as hafnium, tantalum, thorium and uranium show the same regularity in difference of composition also

  19. Resource Economics and Institutions in Ancient Athens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaiser, Brooks

    economic concerns regarding distance-costs to Athens, but also institutional costs of reliably getting the needed timber. We use orbis.stanford.edu and GIS ecological and topographical information as analytical tools for spatial cost-distance from forests to Piraeus to calculate relative costs of transport......Institutional development in ancient Athens ranged from banking and legally recorded and sustained private ownership of a variety of goods and services that enabled domestic and international trade to liturgical mechanisms for procurement of public goods. These institutions in turn provided...... unencumbered, even when direct force or extraction of tribute was not the main mechanism. But no consistent records or other reliable indications point to steady, enforced markets in timber from a given location to Athens. We use resource economic theory to uncover more about timber acquisition in Athens...

  20. Ancient engineers' inventions precursors of the present

    CERN Document Server

    Rossi, Cesare

    2017-01-01

    This book describes the inventions and designs of ancient engineers who are the precursors of the present. The period ranges mainly from 300 B.C. to 1600 A.D. with several exceptions. Many of the oldest inventions are documented by archaeological finds, often very little known, mainly from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae and reveal a surprising modernity in their conception. Most of the inventions presented in the first four parts of the book were conceived up to the late Roman Empire and may be considered as milestones, each in their respective field. The fifth part concentrates on more recent centuries. The sixth part deals with some building construction techniques. Generally, for each of the presented inventions, three elements of research and reference are provided: written documents (the classics), iconic references (coins, bas-reliefs, etc.) and archaeological findings. The authors did not write this book for engineers only; hence they describe all the devices without assuming wide technical knowledge...

  1. The Ancient Evolutionary History of Polyomaviruses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher B Buck

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Polyomaviruses are a family of DNA tumor viruses that are known to infect mammals and birds. To investigate the deeper evolutionary history of the family, we used a combination of viral metagenomics, bioinformatics, and structural modeling approaches to identify and characterize polyomavirus sequences associated with fish and arthropods. Analyses drawing upon the divergent new sequences indicate that polyomaviruses have been gradually co-evolving with their animal hosts for at least half a billion years. Phylogenetic analyses of individual polyomavirus genes suggest that some modern polyomavirus species arose after ancient recombination events involving distantly related polyomavirus lineages. The improved evolutionary model provides a useful platform for developing a more accurate taxonomic classification system for the viral family Polyomaviridae.

  2. Phobias in Poetry: Coleridge's Ancient Mariner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Satendra; Khetarpal, Abha

    2012-04-01

    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was written by Coleridge and is a classic poetry about retribution, punishment, guilt, and curse. Religious beliefs and delusions can arise from neurologic lesions and anomalous experiences, suggesting that at least some religious beliefs can be pathological. Looking at the poem through the psychiatric and psychological domain, the symbolism, the narration and the entire setting of the poem represents Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mariner's reactions are beautifully portrayed from the psychoanalytic point of view and the literary piece shows claustrophobia, stygiophobia, dikephobia, and poinephobia. The mental stress of a person under a crisis situation has remarkably been evoked in this poem. This incredible piece of art expresses how the realization of divine love within oneself has the power to heal pain and suffer.

  3. Recognition of dementia in ancient China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jia; Wang, Lu-Ning; Tian, Jin-Zhou

    2012-12-01

    A search of previous records in the literatures was done to summarize the opinions for dementia in ancient China. The earliest description of dementia was traced in the Yellow emperor's internal classic, a book written 2000 years ago. Hua Tuo (AD 140-208) in Han Dynasty first denominated "dementia" in the book, Hua Tuo Shen Yi Mi Zhuan. The pathogenesis of dementia could be generalized as the insufficiency of Qi, a flowing energy; the stagnation of phlegm, a harmful liquid substance in the body; and the blood stasis, which were also regarded as therapeutic targets. Therefore, we can conclude that dementia has been recognized and investigated in traditional Chinese medicine, which is definitely before the industrial civilization era. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Optical spectroscopy of ancient paper and textiles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Missori, M.

    2016-01-01

    Ancient paper and textiles represent a striking example of optically inhomogenous materials whose optical responses are strongly governed by scattering effects. In order to recover the absorption coefficient from non-invasive and nondestructive reflectance measurements a specific approach based on Kubelka-Munk two-flux theory must be applied. In this way quantitative chemical information, such as chromophores concentration, can be obtained, as well as quantitative spectra of additional substances such as pigments or dyes. Results on a folio of the Codex on the Flight of Birds by Leonardo da Vinci and a linen cloth dated back to 1653 and called the Shroud of Arquata, a copy of the Shroud of Turin, will be presented.

  5. Were the ancient Romans art forgers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Casemen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A popularly held tenet in the historical record on art is that the practice of forgery began in ancient Rome, where sculptures made by craftsmen of the day were passed off as classical Greek antiquities. However, revisionist scholars in recent decades have challenged this perspective. One line of criticism denies that forgery was present in Rome, asserting that the evidence for it has been misunderstood. A softer line suggests that while the traditional view overstates the case, there is still reason to accept that the culture of Rome harbored art forgery. This article assesses the competing claims in light of literary references by Roman authors, physical evidence including inscriptions on sculptures, the phenomenon of Corinthian bronze, the nature of Roman copying, social and economic conditions necessary for art forgery to arise, and what art forgery consists of by definition.

  6. Mortar alteration: experimental study and ancient analogues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rassineux, Francois

    1987-01-01

    As the durability of cemented matrices is a matter of great importance in numerous domains, notably for the long term reliability of surface storages of radioactive wastes, the objective of this research thesis is to define mechanisms of evolution of cemented matrices when in contact with diluted aqueous solutions. The author notably studied the influence of the lixiviation mode on the evolution of two mortars having different compositions (pH, CO 2 pressure, system containment, and cement mineralogical nature appear to be the main governing parameters), the alteration (dissolution is the prevailing process in the interaction between cemented matrices and a diluted solution such as rain water), and ancient binders (archaeological binders containing mineral phases such as hydrated calcium silicates or hydro-grossulars). The obtained results lead to the definition of alteration mechanisms in modern cements, and highlight factors governing the durability of these materials when submitted to meteoric alteration [fr

  7. Ancient bacteria show evidence of DNA repair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Hebsgaard, Martin B; Christensen, Torben R

    2007-01-01

    Recent claims of cultivable ancient bacteria within sealed environments highlight our limited understanding of the mechanisms behind long-term cell survival. It remains unclear how dormancy, a favored explanation for extended cellular persistence, can cope with spontaneous genomic decay over......-term survival of bacteria sealed in frozen conditions for up to one million years. Our results show evidence of bacterial survival in samples up to half a million years in age, making this the oldest independently authenticated DNA to date obtained from viable cells. Additionally, we find strong evidence...... that this long-term survival is closely tied to cellular metabolic activity and DNA repair that over time proves to be superior to dormancy as a mechanism in sustaining bacteria viability....

  8. Ancient loons stories Pingree told me

    CERN Document Server

    Davis, Philip J

    2016-01-01

    The book is a collection of short stories, small anecdotes in the life of some historical characters. More concretely, it focuses on the oddities and singularities of some well-known historical figures, not only in science, but also in arts, politics and social sciences. … the book shows the fascination for ancient history, the treasures hidden in original sources and the importance of exploring unusual connections.-Javier Martinez, The European Mathematical Society, January 2013… a rambling, illuminating and thoroughly enjoyable bio/autobiographical and historical sketch, setting Pingree's immense erudition in its professional and intellectual context. Besides a string of amusing and intriguing anecdotes plentifully sprinkled with photos and sketches, this small volume supplies a valuable reminder of how complex, surprising and just plain strange the history of the exact sciences can be.-Kim Plofker, MAA Reviews, October 2012.

  9. Legacy of the Ancient World: An Educational Guide. Understanding Ancient Culture through Art at the Tampa Museum of Art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitelaw, R. Lynn

    Among the many contributions made by Ancient Greeks and Romans to contemporary life, are those which influence art, architecture, literature, philosophy, mathematics and science, theater, athletics, religion, and the founding of democracy. The Tampa Museum of Art's classical collection offers a unique opportunity to learn about Ancient Greeks and…

  10. Can Digital Computers Support Ancient Mathematical Consciousness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Sloman

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper poses, discusses, but does not definitively answer, the following questions: What sorts of reasoning machinery could the ancient mathematicians, and other intelligent animals, be using for spatial reasoning, before the discovery of modern logical mechanisms? “Diagrams in minds” perhaps? How and why did natural selection produce such machinery? Is there a single package of biological abilities for spatial reasoning, or did different sorts of mathematical competence evolve at different times, forming a “layered” system? Do the layers develop in individuals at different stages? Which components are shared with other intelligent species? Does some or all of the machinery exist at or before birth in humans and if not how and when does it develop, and what is the role of experience in its development? How do brains implement such machinery? Could similar machines be implemented as virtual machines on digital computers, and if not what sorts of non-digital “Super Turing” mechanisms could replicate the required functionality, including discovery of impossibility and necessity? How are impossibility and necessity represented in brains? Are chemical mechanisms required? How could such mechanisms be specified in a genome? Are some not specified in the genome but products of interaction between genome and environment? Does Turing’s work on chemical morphogenesis published shortly before he died indicate that he was interested in this problem? Will the answers to these questions vindicate Immanuel Kant’s claims about the nature of mathematical knowledge, including his claim that mathematical truths are non-empirical, synthetic and necessary? Perhaps it’s time for discussions of consciousness to return to the nature of ancient mathematical consciousness, and related aspects of everyday human and non-human intelligence, usually ignored by consciousness theorists.

  11. Ancient water supports today's energy needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Natyzak, Jennifer L.; Castner, Elizabeth A.; Davis, Kyle F.; Emery, Kyle A.; Gephart, Jessica A.; Leach, Allison M.; Pace, Michael L.; Galloway, James N.

    2017-05-01

    The water footprint for fossil fuels typically accounts for water utilized in mining and fuel processing, whereas the water footprint of biofuels assesses the agricultural water used by crops through their lifetime. Fossil fuels have an additional water footprint that is not easily accounted for: ancient water that was used by plants millions of years ago, before they were transformed into fossil fuel. How much water is mankind using from the past to sustain current energy needs? We evaluate the link between ancient water virtually embodied in fossil fuels to current global energy demands by determining the water demand required to replace fossil fuels with biomass produced with water from the present. Using equal energy units of wood, bioethanol, and biodiesel to replace coal, natural gas, and crude oil, respectively, the resulting water demand is 7.39 × 1013 m3 y-1, approximately the same as the total annual evaporation from all land masses and transpiration from all terrestrial vegetation. Thus, there are strong hydrologic constraints to a reliance on biofuel energy produced with water from the present because the conversion from fossil fuels to biofuels would have a disproportionate and unsustainable impact on the modern water. By using fossil fuels to meet today's energy needs, we are virtually using water from a geological past. The water cycle is insufficient to sustain the production of the fuel presently consumed by human societies. Thus, non-fuel-based renewable energy sources are needed to decrease mankind's reliance on fossil fuel energy without placing an overwhelming pressure on global freshwater resources.

  12. [Medicine in ancient Mesopotamia - part 2].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins E Silva, J

    2010-01-01

    The second part embraces exclusively the main characteristics of the medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia, in its main facets: concept of disease, healers and practice. The disease was considered a divine punishment or resultant from a malign influence. Insofar, the medicine began by being preventive, by the use of appropriate amulets or by offerings or sacrifices intending to pacify those malign forces. The treatment of the generality of the diseases privileged the expulsion of those spirits and malign influences from the patient body, purifying it, which was done by the specific intervention of a approximately shipu (clergymanexorcist); not having results, the treatment was continued by the asû (practical healer) that appealed to a group of physical manipulations, limited surgical acts and the administration or application of prescriptions, resultants of the mixture of organic and inorganic substances. In case of failing, the patients (as well as common healthy individuals or rule leaders) could fall back upon a priest diviner (bârû) that, by examination of the organs of an animal especially sacrificed for, would give a final decision about the disease or the future. Besides this more occult facet, nourished in religious faiths and in the magic, the medicine of Ancient Mesopotamia included rational knowledge, certainly as the result of systematic patients observation and semiotic interpretation. From those observations and knowledge referred to the Sumerian period, carefully logged, refined and transmitted to the following generations, it was built a valuable group of texts with the description of symptoms, signs, diagnosis and prognostic of the most common diseases, still identifiable in the present.

  13. A Review of New and Anticipated High-Resolution Paleoclimate Records from the East African Rift System and Their Implications for Hominin Evolution and Demography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    Our understanding of Late Tertiary/Quaternary climate and environmental history in East Africa has, to date, largely been based on outcrop and marine drill core records. Although these records have proven extremely valuable both in reconstructing environmental change and placing human evolution in an environmental context, their quality is limited by resolution, continuity, uncertainties about superposition and outcrop weathering. To address this problem, long drill core records from extant ancient lakes and lake beds are being collected by several research groups. Long cores (up to 100s of m.) from basin depocenters in both the western and eastern rifts are now available spanning nearly the entire latitudinal range of the East Africa Rift. This network of core records, especially when coupled with outcrop data, is providing an opportunity to compare the nature of important global climate transitions (especially glacial/interglacial events and precessional cycles) across the continent, thereby documenting regional heterogeneity in African climate history. Understanding this heterogeneity is critical for realistically evaluating competing hypotheses of environmental forcing of human evolution, and especially ideas about the dispersal of anatomically modern humans out of Africa in the early Late Pleistocene. In particular, understanding the hydrological and paleoecological history of biogeographic corridors linking eastern Africa, the Nile River Valley and the Levant is likely to be vastly improved through comparative analysis of these new drill cores over the next few years. Because we do not a priori know the primary forcing factors affecting this environmental history, it will essential to develop the best possible age models, employing multiple and novel geochronometric tools to make these comparisons.

  14. What Causes Animals to Disperse?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Also, Zubiri [3] study in 1995 on Ethiopian wolves showed that in cases where dispersal became far more risky, because of harsh environment and high wolf pack densities, the females (who are the predominant dispersers) often did not disperse, and eventu- ally some became the dominant females of the pack. This would.

  15. Exploring the Potential of Laser Ablation Carbon Isotope Analysis for Examining Ecology during the Ontogeny of Middle Pleistocene Hominins from Sima de los Huesos (Northern Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Nuria; Feranec, Robert S.; Passey, Benjamin H.; Cerling, Thure E.; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-01-01

    Laser ablation of tooth enamel was used to analyze stable carbon isotope compositions of teeth of hominins, red deer, and bears from middle Pleistocene sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain, to investigate the possibility that this technique could be used as an additional tool to identify periods of physiological change that are not detectable as changes in tooth morphology. Most of the specimens were found to have minimal intra-tooth variation in carbon isotopes (< 2.3‰), suggesting isotopically uniform diets through time and revealing no obvious periods of physiological change. However, one of the two sampled hominin teeth displayed a temporal carbon isotope shift (3.2‰) that was significantly greater than observed for co-occurring specimens. The δ13C value of this individual averaged about -16‰ early in life, and -13‰ later in life. This isotopic change occurred on the canine crown about 4.2 mm from the root, which corresponds to an approximate age of two to four years old in modern humans. Our dataset is perforce small owing to the precious nature of hominid teeth, but it demonstrates the potential utility of the intra-tooth isotope profile method for extracting ontogenetic histories of human ancestors. PMID:26673156

  16. The Nature of Culture: an eight-grade model for the evolution and expansion of cultural capacities in hominins and other animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haidle, Miriam Noël; Bolus, Michael; Collard, Mark; Conard, Nicholas; Garofoli, Duilio; Lombard, Marlize; Nowell, April; Tennie, Claudio; Whiten, Andrew

    2015-07-20

    Tracing the evolution of human culture through time is arguably one of the most controversial and complex scholarly endeavors, and a broad evolutionary analysis of how symbolic, linguistic, and cultural capacities emerged and developed in our species is lacking. Here we present a model that, in broad terms, aims to explain the evolution and portray the expansion of human cultural capacities (the EECC model), that can be used as a point of departure for further multidisciplinary discussion and more detailed investigation. The EECC model is designed to be flexible, and can be refined to accommodate future archaeological, paleoanthropological, genetic or evolutionary psychology/behavioral analyses and discoveries. Our proposed concept of cultural behavior differentiates between empirically traceable behavioral performances and behavioral capacities that are theoretical constructs. Based largely on archaeological data (the 'black box' that most directly opens up hominin cultural evolution), and on the extension of observable problem-solution distances, we identify eight grades of cultural capacity. Each of these grades is considered within evolutionary-biological and historical-social trajectories. Importantly, the model does not imply an inevitable progression, but focuses on expansion of cultural capacities based on the integration of earlier achievements. We conclude that there is not a single cultural capacity or a single set of abilities that enabled human culture; rather, several grades of cultural capacity in animals and hominins expanded during our evolution to shape who we are today.

  17. Exploring the Potential of Laser Ablation Carbon Isotope Analysis for Examining Ecology during the Ontogeny of Middle Pleistocene Hominins from Sima de los Huesos (Northern Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Nuria; Feranec, Robert S; Passey, Benjamin H; Cerling, Thure E; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2015-01-01

    Laser ablation of tooth enamel was used to analyze stable carbon isotope compositions of teeth of hominins, red deer, and bears from middle Pleistocene sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain, to investigate the possibility that this technique could be used as an additional tool to identify periods of physiological change that are not detectable as changes in tooth morphology. Most of the specimens were found to have minimal intra-tooth variation in carbon isotopes (< 2.3‰), suggesting isotopically uniform diets through time and revealing no obvious periods of physiological change. However, one of the two sampled hominin teeth displayed a temporal carbon isotope shift (3.2‰) that was significantly greater than observed for co-occurring specimens. The δ13C value of this individual averaged about -16‰ early in life, and -13‰ later in life. This isotopic change occurred on the canine crown about 4.2 mm from the root, which corresponds to an approximate age of two to four years old in modern humans. Our dataset is perforce small owing to the precious nature of hominid teeth, but it demonstrates the potential utility of the intra-tooth isotope profile method for extracting ontogenetic histories of human ancestors.

  18. Exploring the Potential of Laser Ablation Carbon Isotope Analysis for Examining Ecology during the Ontogeny of Middle Pleistocene Hominins from Sima de los Huesos (Northern Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuria Garcia

    Full Text Available Laser ablation of tooth enamel was used to analyze stable carbon isotope compositions of teeth of hominins, red deer, and bears from middle Pleistocene sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain, to investigate the possibility that this technique could be used as an additional tool to identify periods of physiological change that are not detectable as changes in tooth morphology. Most of the specimens were found to have minimal intra-tooth variation in carbon isotopes (< 2.3‰, suggesting isotopically uniform diets through time and revealing no obvious periods of physiological change. However, one of the two sampled hominin teeth displayed a temporal carbon isotope shift (3.2‰ that was significantly greater than observed for co-occurring specimens. The δ13C value of this individual averaged about -16‰ early in life, and -13‰ later in life. This isotopic change occurred on the canine crown about 4.2 mm from the root, which corresponds to an approximate age of two to four years old in modern humans. Our dataset is perforce small owing to the precious nature of hominid teeth, but it demonstrates the potential utility of the intra-tooth isotope profile method for extracting ontogenetic histories of human ancestors.

  19. Extremely long-distance seed dispersal by an overfished Amazonian frugivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jill T; Nuttle, Tim; Saldaña Rojas, Joe S; Pendergast, Thomas H; Flecker, Alexander S

    2011-11-22

    Throughout Amazonia, overfishing has decimated populations of fruit-eating fishes, especially the large-bodied characid, Colossoma macropomum. During lengthy annual floods, frugivorous fishes enter vast Amazonian floodplains, consume massive quantities of fallen fruits and egest viable seeds. Many tree and liana species are clearly specialized for icthyochory, and seed dispersal by fish may be crucial for the maintenance of Amazonian wetland forests. Unlike frugivorous mammals and birds, little is known about seed dispersal effectiveness of fishes. Extensive mobility of frugivorous fish could result in extremely effective, multi-directional, long-distance seed dispersal. Over three annual flood seasons, we tracked fine-scale movement patterns and habitat use of wild Colossoma, and seed retention in the digestive tracts of captive individuals. Our mechanistic model predicts that Colossoma disperses seeds extremely long distances to favourable habitats. Modelled mean dispersal distances of 337-552 m and maximum of 5495 m are among the longest ever reported. At least 5 per cent of seeds are predicted to disperse 1700-2110 m, farther than dispersal by almost all other frugivores reported in the literature. Additionally, seed dispersal distances increased with fish size, but overfishing has biased Colossoma populations to smaller individuals. Thus, overexploitation probably disrupts an ancient coevolutionary relationship between Colossoma and Amazonian plants.

  20. Tracer dispersion - experiment and CFD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zitny, R.

    2004-01-01

    Description of tracer distribution by means of dispersion models is a method successfully used in process engineering for fifty years. Application of dispersion models in reactor engineering for characterization of flows in column apparatus, heat exchangers, etc. is summarized and experimental tracer techniques as well as CFD methods for dispersion coefficients evaluation are discussed. Possible extensions of thermal axial dispersion model (ADM) and a core-wall ADM model suitable for description of tracer dispersion in laminar flows are suggested as well as CFD implementation as 1D finite elements. (author)

  1. Developing a dispersant spraying capability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gill, S.D.

    1979-01-01

    In developing a national dispersant spraying capability, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) has undertaken a modification program to enable the conventional offshore spraying gear to be mounted on almost any vessel of convenience. Smaller, more versatile inshore spraying vessels and pumps have been designed and built. With the popularization of concentrated dispersants, the inshore pumping equipment can be used aboard hovercraft for special application situations. A program of acquiring mobile dispersant storage tanks has been undertaken with auxiliary equipment that will facilitate the shipment of dispersants in bulk by air freight. Work also has commenced on extending the dispersant application program to include the CCG fleet of helicopters.

  2. Ancient Writers’ Motifs in Spanish Golden Age Drama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bojana Tomc

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In Spanish Golden Age drama we come across all forms of the reception of ancient writers’ motifs: explicit (direct quotation of an ancient author, where the quotation may be more or less complete, or a clear allusion to it, implicit (where there is no explicit mentioning of the ancient source, however certain ancient elements are mentioned such as persons, places, historical circumstances, hidden (where there is no clear hint about a literary intervention in Antiquity or an imitation of the literary excerpt or motif, as well as direct imitation (aemulatio or adaptation (variatio. In the Renaissance and Baroque there are almost no motifs, which could not be taken over from Antiquity without a transformation or innovation. If there is a close correspondence to the ancient motif, it is generally sufficient simply to mention it or employ a side motif as an illustration of a similar situation without elaborating the motif further or weaving it more deeply into the supporting fabric of the dramatic work. The ancient authors who contribute the motifs are numerous and diverse: Vergil, the Roman elegists Propertius in Tibullus, the lyric poet Horace, the comedian Plautus, the stoic philosopher Seneca, the historian Tacitus, the novelist Apuleius, as well as Greek dramatist Aeschylus and stoic philosopher Epictetus. The genres, which are a source for the surviving ancient motifs in the Golden Age in the selected authors, include literary as well as not-literary forms: epic poetry, lyric, dramatics, philosophy and historiography.

  3. Single origin of the Mascarene stick insects: ancient radiation on sunken islands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradler, Sven; Cliquennois, Nicolas; Buckley, Thomas R

    2015-09-16

    The study of islands as model systems plays a key role in understanding many evolutionary processes. Knowledge of the historical events leading to present-day island communities is pivotal for exploring fundamental mechanisms of speciation and adaptation. The remote Mascarene archipelago (Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues), considered to be the product of an age-progressive trend of north-to-south volcanic activity in the Indian Ocean, hosts a remarkably diverse, endemic and threatened concentration of flora and fauna that has traditionally been considered to be biogeographically related to Madagascar and Africa. To explore the evolutionary diversity of the Mascarene stick insects (Phasmatodea), we constructed a global phylogeny from approximately 2.4 kb of mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data of more than 120 species representing all major phasmatodean lineages. Based on the obtained time-calibrated molecular tree we demonstrate that the current phasmid community of the Mascarene archipelago, which consists of members of four presumably unrelated traditional subfamilies, is the result of a single ancient dispersal event from Australasia and started radiating between 16-29 million years ago, significantly predating the age of Mauritius (8-10 million years). We propose that the Mascarene stick insects diversified on landmasses now eroded away, presumably to the north of Mauritius. In consequence, ancient islands have probably persisted in the Indian Ocean until the emergence of Mauritius and not only served as stepping stones for colonisation events during sea-level lowstands, but as long-lasting cradles of evolution. These ancient landmasses most likely allowed for adaptive speciation and served as significant sources of diversity that contributed to the biomes of the Mascarene archipelago and the megadiverse Madagascar.

  4. Spurious dispersion effects at FLASH

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prat, Eduard

    2009-07-01

    The performance of the Free-Electron Laser (FEL) process imposes stringent demands on the transverse trajectory and size of the electron beam. Since transverse dispersion changes off-energy particle trajectories and increases the effective beam size, dispersion must be controlled. This thesis treats the concept of dispersion in linacs, and analyses the impact of dispersion on the electron beam and on the FEL process. It presents generation mechanisms for spurious dispersion, quantifying its importance for FLASH (Free-electron Laser in Hamburg) and the XFEL (European X-ray Free-Electron Laser). A method for measuring and correcting dispersion and its implementation in FLASH is described. Experiments of dispersion e ects on the transverse beam quality and on the FEL performance are presented. (orig.)

  5. Spurious dispersion effects at FLASH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prat, Eduard

    2009-07-15

    The performance of the Free-Electron Laser (FEL) process imposes stringent demands on the transverse trajectory and size of the electron beam. Since transverse dispersion changes off-energy particle trajectories and increases the effective beam size, dispersion must be controlled. This thesis treats the concept of dispersion in linacs, and analyses the impact of dispersion on the electron beam and on the FEL process. It presents generation mechanisms for spurious dispersion, quantifying its importance for FLASH (Free-electron Laser in Hamburg) and the XFEL (European X-ray Free-Electron Laser). A method for measuring and correcting dispersion and its implementation in FLASH is described. Experiments of dispersion e ects on the transverse beam quality and on the FEL performance are presented. (orig.)

  6. Dispersion stability of thermal nanofluids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Yu

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Thermal nanofluids, the engineered fluids with dispersed functional nanoparticles, have exhibited extraordinary thermophysical properties and added functionalities, and thus have enabled a broad range of important applications. The poor dispersion stability of thermal nanofluids, however, has been considered as a long-existing issue that limits their further development and practical application. This review overviews the recent efforts and progresses in improving the dispersion stability of thermal nanofluids such as mechanistic understanding of dispersion behavior of nanofluids, examples of both water-based and oil-based nanofluids, strategies to stabilize nanofluids, and characterization techniques for dispersion behavior of nanofluids. Finally, on-going research needs, and possible solutions to research challenges and future research directions in exploring stably dispersed thermal nanofluids are discussed. Keywords: Thermal nanofluids, Dispersion, Aggregation, Electrostatic stabilization, Steric stabilization

  7. Determination of ancient ceramics reference material by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Huhou; Sun Jingxin; Wang Yuqi; Lu Liangcai

    1986-01-01

    Contents of trace elements in the reference material of ancient ceramics (KPS-1) were determined by means of activation analysis, using thermal neutron irradiation produced in nuclear reactor. KPS-1 favoured the analysis of ancient ceramics because it had not only many kinds of element but also appropriate contents of composition. The values presented here are reliable within the experimental precision, and have shown that the reference material had a good homogeneity. So KPS-1 can be used as a suitable reference material for the ancient ceramics analysis

  8. Sex identification of ancient DNA samples using a microfluidic device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Kirsty J; Brown, Keri A; Brown, Terence A; Haswell, Stephen J

    2015-01-01

    Ancient DNA is the name given to the degraded, fragmented, and chemically damaged biomolecules that can be recovered from archaeological remains of plants, animals, and humans. Where ancient human DNA has survived at archaeological sites, it can give valuable information and is especially useful for its potential to identify kinship, population affinities, pathogens, and biological sex. Here, we describe the operation of a microfluidic device for the sex identification of ancient DNA samples using an efficient sample handling process. DNA is extracted from powdered bone samples and abasic sites labeled with biotin. Streptavidin-coated superparamagnetic particles are used to isolate the labeled DNA prior to amplification of the Amelogenin sex marker.

  9. Pathogens and host immunity in the ancient human oral cavity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, Christina; Rodrigues, João F Matias; Vyas, Rounak

    2014-01-01

    cavity has long served as a reservoir for bacteria implicated in both local and systemic disease. We characterize (i) the ancient oral microbiome in a diseased state, (ii) 40 opportunistic pathogens, (iii) ancient human-associated putative antibiotic resistance genes, (iv) a genome reconstruction......Calcified dental plaque (dental calculus) preserves for millennia and entraps biomolecules from all domains of life and viruses. We report the first, to our knowledge, high-resolution taxonomic and protein functional characterization of the ancient oral microbiome and demonstrate that the oral...

  10. Plio-Pleistocene facies environments from the KBS Member, Koobi Fora Formation: implications for climate controls on the development of lake-margin hominin habitats in the northeast Turkana Basin (northwest Kenya)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lepre, C.J.; Quinn, R.L.; Joordens, J.C.A.; Swisher III, C.S.; Feibel, C.S.

    2007-01-01

    Climate change is hypothesized as a cause of major events of Plio-Pleistocene East African hominin evolution, but the vertically discontinuous and laterally confined nature of the relevant geological records has led to difficulties with assessing probable links between the two. High-resolution

  11. Non-destructive analysis of ancient metal alloys by in situ EDXRF transportable equipment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gigante, G. E.; Cesareo, R.

    1998-01-01

    The availability of transportable equipment for in situ non-destructive analysis of works of art is considered to be very important. In situ non-destructive study is typically diagnostic, therefore requiring only qualitative or semiquantitative results. In the case of alloys, quantitative results can also be obtained. In Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis, portable instruments can now be assembled. For instance, miniaturised X-ray tubes with air cooling and high resolution semiconductor detectors thermoelectrically cooled are now available, allowing the construction of completely transportable apparatus for EDXRF analysis. In this work, aspects regarding methodology of analysis and discussion of the precision obtainable in analysis of ancient metals are presented

  12. Dataset on elemental concentration and group identification of ancient potteries from Tamil Nadu, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Chandrasekaran

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The dataset contains concentration of major and trace elements of ancient potteries from Tamilnadu and grouping different potteries from the statistical techniques of factor and cluster analysis (Figs. 2, 3 and 4. The major and trace elemental concentration data generated using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence technique (EDXRF and factor and cluster analysis data obtained using STATISTICA (10.0 version software. The concentration of major and trace elements determines the type of clay minerals (Calcareous/Non-Calcareous and either low or high refractory and firing atmosphere adopted by the artisans at the time of manufacture. The statistical tool examined graphically the grouping pattern of the samples in terms of chemical composition and extract information about their provenance. The compilation of this data provides a resource for the wider research community in archeology.

  13. Phonon dispersion in vanadium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ivanov, A.S.; Rumiantsev, A.Yu.

    1999-01-01

    Complete text of publication follows. Phonon dispersion curves in Vanadium metal are investigated by neutron inelastic scattering using three-axis spectrometers. Due to extremely low coherent scattering amplitude of neutrons in natural isotope mixture of vanadium the phonon frequencies could be determined in the energy range below about 15 meV. Several phonon groups were measured with the polarised neutron scattering set-up. It is demonstrated that the intensity of coherent inelastic scattering observed in the non-spin-flip channel vanishes in the spin-flip channel. The phonon density of states is measured on a single crystal keeping the momentum transfer equal to a vector of reciprocal lattice where the coherent inelastic scattering is suppressed. Phonon dispersion curves in vanadium, as measured by neutron and earlier by X-ray scattering, are described in frames of a charge-fluctuation model involving monopolar and dipolar degrees of freedom. The model parameters are compared for different transition metals with body-centred cubic-structure. (author)

  14. Dispersion and current measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boelskifte, S.

    1986-04-01

    A model for the simulation of particle movements in water should incorporate the mutual distance dependent correlation. As long as reliable data are given accessible a model can be created of the dispersion in a given area from a statistical description of turbulence. Current measurements have been performed in an area north of the Swedish nuclear power plant Barsebaeck, and statistical time series analysis have made it possible to estimate multivariate autoregressive moving-average (ARMA) models for these data using the Box-Jenkins method. The correlation structure for the area has been investigated in detail. Transport and dispersion models for the marine environment are used in estimating doses to the population from the aquatic food chain. Some of these models are described with special emphasis on the time and length scales they cover. Furthermore, to illustrate the background of the simulation model, short introductuions are given to health physics, time series analysis, and turbulence theory. Analysis of the simulation model shows the relative importance of the different parameters. The model can be expanded to conditional simulation, where the current measurements are used directly to simulate the movement of one of the particles. Results from the model are also compared to results from a sampling of bioindicators (Fucus vesiculosus) along the Danish coast. The reliability of bioindicators in this kind of experiment is discussed. (author)

  15. Gakkel Ridge: A window to ancient asthenosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, J.; Hellebrand, E.; Dick, H.; Liu, C.; Stracke, A.

    2008-12-01

    We are accustomed to thinking of the ambient mantle as being a well-stirred reservoir, which contains at most regions of stored subducted slabs and "plums" containing lithophile trace element enrichments. What is forgotten in all of this is that the main process of formation of heterogeneities is a negative one - generating 10x more depleted mantle at any given moment than it does oceanic crust. Because the volume of lithosphere subducted over Earth history is so large, it has always been assumed that the process of subduction and convective mixing re-homogenizes the depleted and enriched reservoirs about as fast as it produces them. What if it doesn't? Our primary means of studying mantle heterogeneity however is basalts. Direct study of the mantle entails observations on xenoliths, ophiolites and orogenic lherzolites, and abyssal peridotites. The latter have the inherent problems of being melting residues, associated with fracture zones, are highly serpentinized and rare. The arctic ridge system gives us a unique perspective on the mantle, and samples we have recovered there are relatively free from these problems. Due to the slow spreading rate, which apparently severely limits the melt productivity, the thickest crust in the Arctic ridge system is approximately "normal". The most common crust is about half thickness and there are large expanses with no crust at all, in the sense of Hess, 1962, exposing mantle peridotite in the floor of extensive rift zones. We have shown Os isotopic evidence for the survival of ancient depletion signatures in Gakkel abyssal peridotites that apparently were not destroyed by subduction, convective stirring or resetting during magma genesis (Liu, et al., 2008). Additionally, preliminary Nd isotopic evidence suggests at least a 400Ma intact prehistory for these samples. Apparently, the low melt productivity on Gakkel Ridge has allowed the Gakkel mantle rocks to escape significant resetting due to melt interaction. This implies a

  16. [Medicine in ancient Mesopotamia--part 1].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins E Silva, J

    2009-01-01

    The present work summarizes the more elucidating aspects on the foundations and the practice of the medicine in Antique Mesopotamia, since the invention of the writing, more than 5000 thousand years ago, and the beginning of our era. The first part of the article includes a brief perspective about the political and social evolution that characterized those archaic civilizations, as well as the inventions and knowledge further used by the following Humanity's generations. Most of what is known on the subject, as well as the history and political-social events that occurred in the region during that remote epoch, resulted of the laborious decoding of about half a million small clay plates or fragments with text engravings in cuneiform characters that were discovered since the middle of the XIX century in the ruins of the main cities of the Babylonian and Assyrian empires. The second part embraces exclusively the main characteristics of the medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia, in its main facets: concept of disease, healers and practice. The disease was considered a divine punishment or resultant from a malign influence. In that base, the medicine began by being preventive, by the use of appropriate amulets, or by offerings or sacrifices intending to pacify those malign forces. The treatment of the generality of the diseases privileged the expulsion of those spirits and malign influences from the patient body, purifying it, which was done by the specific intervention of an ãshipu (clergyman-exorcist); not having results, the treatment was continued by the asû (practical healer) that appealed to a group of physical manipulations, limited surgical acts and the administration or application of prescriptions, resultants of the mixture of organic and inorganic substances. In case of failing, the patients (as well as individuals or rein leaders) could fall back upon a priest diviner (bârû) who, by examination of the organs of an animal especially sacrificed for the effect

  17. Studing cranial vault modifications in ancient Mesoamerica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiesler, Vera

    2012-01-01

    The artificial modification of infant cranial vaults through massages or by means of constriction and compression devices constitutes a readily visible, permanent body modification that has been employed cross-culturally to express identity, ethnicity, beauty, status and gender. For those ancient societies that staged head shaping, these cultural correlates may be ascertained by examining cranial shapes together with other data sets from the archaeological record. Studies of skulls modified for cultural reasons also provide important clues for understanding principles in neural growth and physiopathological variation in cranial expansion. This paper focuses on head shaping techniques in Mesoamerica, where the practice was deeply rooted and widespread before the European conquest. It provides a comprehensive review of the Mesoamericanistic research on shaping techniques, implements and taxonomies. An up-dated, interdisciplinary examination of the physiological implications and the cultural meanings of artificially produced head shapes in different times and culture areas within Mesoamerica leads to a discussion of the scope, caveats, and future directions involved in this kind of research in the region and beyond.

  18. Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couprie, Dirk L.

    The archaic world picture, the picture of a flat earth with the dome of the heaven vaulted above it, on which the celestial bodies are attached, is the basic world picture of many ancient cultures. Here "world picture" means the conception of the visible universe, not including all kinds of mythical or religious representations of what was imagined to be "under the earth." This archaic world picture (and also its penetration by a curious head) is beautifully rendered in a picture that is often thought to belong to the Renaissance period but was actually drawn in 1888 A.D. on the instructions of the famous French astronomer and popularizer Camille Flammarion (Fig. 1.1). The drawing refers to a story about Archytas (428-347 B.C.), who is supposed to have asked whether it would be possible to put a hand or a stick out of the heavens (DK 47A24). We will return to the implications of this question in the last chapter of this book.

  19. Cases of Trephination in Ancient Greek Skulls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliki Ζafiri

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Trephination, or trepanning, is considered to be one of the most ancient surgical operations with an especially extensive geographical incidence, both in the New World and in the Old. In Europe, more than 200 finds of trephination have been found, from Scandinavia to the Balkans. The technique of trephination or trepanning covers overall the last 10,000 years and exhibits great versatility and adjustability in the knowledge, technical means, therapeutic needs, prejudices and social standards of each period and of each population group. Hippocrates was the one to classify for the first time the kinds of cranial fractures and define the conditions and circumstances for carrying out a trepanning.Aim: The present research aims to investigate the Greek cranial trephinations on sculls from the collection of the Anthropological Museum of the Medical School of Athens that come from archaeological excavations.Method: Skulls were examined by macroscopic observation with reflective light. Furthermore, radiographic representation of the skulls was used.Results: The anthropological researches and the studies of anthropological skeleton remains that came out during archaeological excavations from different eras and areas have given information about the medical practices in the very important geographic area of Greece and in particular, we referred to cases of Greek trephinations.

  20. SMED - Sulphur MEditerranean Dispersion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salerno, Giuseppe G.; Sellitto, Pasquale; Corradini, Stefano; Di Sarra, Alcide Giorgio; Merucci, Luca; Caltabiano, Tommaso; La Spina, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    Emissions of volcanic gases and particles can have profound impacts on terrestrial environment, atmospheric composition, climate forcing, and then on human health at various temporal and spatial scales. Volcanic emissions have been identified as one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our understanding of recent climate change trends. In particular, a primary role is acted by sulphur dioxide emission due to its conversion to volcanic sulphate aerosol via atmospheric oxidation. Aerosols may play a key role in the radiative budget and then in photochemistry and tropospheric composition. Mt. Etna is one of the most prodigious and persistent emitters of gasses and particles on Earth, accounting for about 10% of global average volcanic emission of CO2 and SO2. Its sulphur emissions stand for 0.7 × 106 t S/yr9 and then about 10 times bigger than anthropogenic sulphur emissions in the Mediterranean area. Centrepiece of the SMED project is to advance the understanding of volcanogenic sulphur dioxide and sulphate aerosol particles dispersion and radiative impact on the downwind Mediterranean region by an integrated approach between ground- and space-based observations and modelling. Research is addressed by exploring the potential relationship between proximal SO2 flux and aerosol measured remotely in the volcanic plume of Mt. Etna between 2000 and 2014 and distal aerosol ground-based measurements in Lampedusa, Greece, and Malta from AERONET network. Ground data are combined with satellite multispectral polar and geostationary imagers able to detect and retrieve volcanic ash and SO2. The high repetition time of SEVIRI (15 minutes) will ensure the potential opportunity to follow the entire evolution of the volcanic cloud, while, the higher spatial resolution of MODIS (1x1 km2), are exploited for investigating the probability to retrieve volcanic SO2 abundances from passive degassing. Ground and space observations are complemented with atmospheric Lagrangian model

  1. Dispersive transport across interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkowitz, Brian; Adler, Pierre

    2015-04-01

    Experiments demonstrating asymmetrical dispersive transport of a conservative tracer across interfaces between different porous materials have recently been performed. Here, this phenomenon is studied numerically on the pore scale. The flow field is derived by solving the Stokes equation. The dispersive transport is simulated by a large number of particles undergoing random walks under the simultaneous action of convection and diffusion. Two main two-dimensional configurations are studied; each consists of two segments (called coarse and fine) with the same structure, porosity, and length along the main flow, but different characteristic solid/pore sizes. One structure consists of two channels containing cavities of different sizes, and the second of square "grains" of different sizes. At time t=0, a large number of particles is injected (as a pulse) around a given cross-section. The corresponding breakthrough curves (BTCs) are registered as functions of time at six different cross sections. Calculations are made twice; in the first case (CtoF), particles are injected in the coarse side and are transported towards the fine one; in the second one (FtoC), the opposite case is studied. These calculations are performed for various Péclet numbers (Pe). Comparison of the resulting BTCs shows features that are similar to experimental observations, but with qualitative and quantitative differences. The influences of the medium, of the injection and observation planes, and of Pe are detailed and discussed. A BTC for pulse injection can be characterized by its maximum M(t_M) and the time tM at which it occurs. The observed differences for channels bounded by cavities are very small. However for the granular structures, M(t_M) is always larger for FtoC than for CtoF ; tM depends on all the parameters, namely Pe, the size ratio between the large and small grains, the injection and the observation planes. The numerical results are systematically compared with solutions of one

  2. Anticancer activity of botanical compounds in ancient fermented beverages (review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, P E; Christofidou-Solomidou, M; Wang, W; Dukes, F; Davidson, T; El-Deiry, W S

    2010-07-01

    Humans around the globe probably discovered natural remedies against disease and cancer by trial and error over the millennia. Biomolecular archaeological analyses of ancient organics, especially plants dissolved or decocted as fermented beverages, have begun to reveal the preliterate histories of traditional pharmacopeias, which often date back thousands of years earlier than ancient textual, ethnohistorical, and ethnological evidence. In this new approach to drug discovery, two case studies from ancient Egypt and China illustrate how ancient medicines can be reconstructed from chemical and archaeological data and their active compounds delimited for testing their anticancer and other medicinal effects. Specifically, isoscopoletin from Artemisia argyi, artemisinin from Artemisia annua, and the latter's more easily assimilated semi-synthetic derivative, artesunate, showed the greatest activity in vitro against lung and colon cancers. In vivo tests of these compounds previously unscreened against lung and pancreatic cancers are planned for the future.

  3. GENERATION OF GEOMETRIC ORNAMENTS IN ANCIENT MOSAIC ART

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SASS Ludmila

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper examines geometrical ornaments from ancient mosaic.We studied the geometric generation by using Computer Aided Graphics for three examples of ancient mosaic: a mosaic of Ancient Corinth, a mosaic of the sacred geometry Flower of Life (exposed in the National Museum of Israel and a mosaic of fortress Masada - Israel. The technique of drawing ancient mosaic is recomposed using computer aided graphics. A program has been developed that can help draw a petal-type arc (semicircle of the mosaic that is the Byzantine church of Masada. Based on these mosaics, other variants of aesthetic images in monochrome or black and white and polychrome were drawn, all of which can be materialized in decorative art to embellish various surfaces: walls, floors, pools, fountains, etc.

  4. In Situ Partial Melt on Venus: Evidence for Ancient Water?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, V. L.

    2003-03-01

    Shield terrain comprises countless tiny lava flows that coalesced to form an ultra-thin discontinuous regionally extensive mechanically strong layer; lava represents point-source crustal partial melt and may provide evidence for ancient Venus water.

  5. Crustal Plateaus as Ancient Large Impact Features: A Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, V. L.

    2005-03-01

    An alternate hypothesis of crustal plateau formation through deformation and progressive crystallization of a huge lava pond, that results from massive melting of the mantle due to bolide impact with ancient thin Venus lithosphere is presented.

  6. Second-harmonic generation imaging of collagen in ancient bone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, B; McIntosh, D; Fildes, T; Smith, L; Hargrave, F; Islam, M; Thompson, T; Layfield, R; Scott, D; Shaw, B; Burrell, C L; Gonzalez, S; Taylor, S

    2017-12-01

    Second-harmonic generation imaging (SHG) captures triple helical collagen molecules near tissue surfaces. Biomedical research routinely utilizes various imaging software packages to quantify SHG signals for collagen content and distribution estimates in modern tissue samples including bone. For the first time using SHG, samples of modern, medieval, and ice age bones were imaged to test the applicability of SHG to ancient bone from a variety of ages, settings, and taxa. Four independent techniques including Raman spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, radiocarbon dating protocols, and mass spectrometry-based protein sequencing, confirm the presence of protein, consistent with the hypothesis that SHG imaging detects ancient bone collagen. These results suggest that future studies have the potential to use SHG imaging to provide new insights into the composition of ancient bone, to characterize ancient bone disorders, to investigate collagen preservation within and between various taxa, and to monitor collagen decay regimes in different depositional environments.

  7. Second-harmonic generation imaging of collagen in ancient bone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Thomas

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Second-harmonic generation imaging (SHG captures triple helical collagen molecules near tissue surfaces. Biomedical research routinely utilizes various imaging software packages to quantify SHG signals for collagen content and distribution estimates in modern tissue samples including bone. For the first time using SHG, samples of modern, medieval, and ice age bones were imaged to test the applicability of SHG to ancient bone from a variety of ages, settings, and taxa. Four independent techniques including Raman spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, radiocarbon dating protocols, and mass spectrometry-based protein sequencing, confirm the presence of protein, consistent with the hypothesis that SHG imaging detects ancient bone collagen. These results suggest that future studies have the potential to use SHG imaging to provide new insights into the composition of ancient bone, to characterize ancient bone disorders, to investigate collagen preservation within and between various taxa, and to monitor collagen decay regimes in different depositional environments.

  8. Deep Sequencing of RNA from Ancient Maize Kernels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Morten; Cappellini, Enrico; Romero-Navarro, J. Alberto; Wales, Nathan; Alquezar-Planas, David E.; Penfield, Steven; Brown, Terence A.; Vielle-Calzada, Jean-Philippe; Montiel, Rafael; Jørgensen, Tina; Odegaard, Nancy; Jacobs, Michael; Arriaza, Bernardo; Higham, Thomas F. G.; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Willerslev, Eske; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.

    2013-01-01

    The characterization of biomolecules from ancient samples can shed otherwise unobtainable insights into the past. Despite the fundamental role of transcriptomal change in evolution, the potential of ancient RNA remains unexploited – perhaps due to dogma associated with the fragility of RNA. We hypothesize that seeds offer a plausible refuge for long-term RNA survival, due to the fundamental role of RNA during seed germination. Using RNA-Seq on cDNA synthesized from nucleic acid extracts, we validate this hypothesis through demonstration of partial transcriptomal recovery from two sources of ancient maize kernels. The results suggest that ancient seed transcriptomics may offer a powerful new tool with which to study plant domestication. PMID:23326310

  9. Ancient and modern women in the "Woman's World".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurst, Isobel

    2009-01-01

    Under the editorship of Oscar Wilde, the "Woman's World" exemplified the popular dissemination of Hellenism through periodical culture. Addressing topics such as marriage, politics, and education in relation to the lives of women in the ancient world, the magazine offered an unfamiliar version of the reception of ancient Greece and Rome in late-Victorian aestheticism, one that was accessible to a wide readership because it was often based on images rather than texts. The classical scholar Jane Ellen Harrison addressed herself to this audience of women readers, discussing the similarities between modern collegiate life and the "woman's world" that enabled Sappho to flourish in ancient Greece. The "Woman's World" thus questions gender stereotypes by juxtaposing ancient and modern women, implicitly endorsing varied models of womanhood.

  10. Ancient Land Routes On The Paximadhi Peninsula, Karystos, Euboea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, D.; Hom, E.

    Recent regional surface surveys have placed more focus on rural investigations, but the means of transport and communication within those rural surroundings has not always received adequate attention. The Southern Euboea Exploration Project has undertaken a new phase of research in the Karystos area with the goal of developing a methodology that allows for a more detailed record of the pre-modern land routes. On the Paximadhi peninsula it was possible to identify numerous fragments of suspected ancient routes dating to the Classical and Hellenistic periods. In the majority of cases these fragments were closely associated with adjacent datable ancient sites. By taking into consideration the evidence recorded during the survey it was sometimes possible to propose the extension of these ancient segments and to theorize the directions, lengths, and purposes of ancient networks.

  11. PIXE study on ancient pottery from Chinese Shanghai area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cheng, H.S. [Institute of Modern Physics, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai 200433 (China)]. E-mail: hscheng@fudan.edu.cn; Zhang, Z.Q. [Institute of Modern Physics, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai 200433 (China); Song, J. [Shanghai Museum, Shanghai 200003 (China); Gao, M.H. [Department of Cultural Relics and Museology, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Zhu, D. [Institute of Modern Physics, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai 200433 (China); Lin, J.W. [Institute of Modern Physics, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai 200433 (China); Feng, S.L. [Laboratory of Nuclear Analytical Techniques, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, P.O. Box 918, Beijing 100039 (China)

    2006-08-15

    Shanghai is the largest city in China, and it also has a very long history. Archaeologists have found that six thousand yeas ago, there were ancient people living at Songze, Qingpu County, Shanghai. This paper reports the study of ancient potteries unearthed from the Guangfulin site located at Songjiang, Shanghai. The potteries unearthed from Guangfulin site belonged to two different culture types: the Liangzhu culture type (local culture) and a new culture, which might be derived from elsewhere. PIXE has been used to measure the chemical compositions of samples and factor analysis was used. Experimental results show that the compositions of the pottery from the two phases are different from each other. It means that the raw materials used to make the ancient pottery originate from different places. This results support the idea suggested by archaeologists that a group of ancient people migrated to the Shanghai area from some other place 4000 years ago.

  12. PIXE study on ancient pottery from Chinese Shanghai area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, H.S.; Zhang, Z.Q.; Song, J.; Gao, M.H.; Zhu, D.; Lin, J.W.; Feng, S.L.

    2006-01-01

    Shanghai is the largest city in China, and it also has a very long history. Archaeologists have found that six thousand yeas ago, there were ancient people living at Songze, Qingpu County, Shanghai. This paper reports the study of ancient potteries unearthed from the Guangfulin site located at Songjiang, Shanghai. The potteries unearthed from Guangfulin site belonged to two different culture types: the Liangzhu culture type (local culture) and a new culture, which might be derived from elsewhere. PIXE has been used to measure the chemical compositions of samples and factor analysis was used. Experimental results show that the compositions of the pottery from the two phases are different from each other. It means that the raw materials used to make the ancient pottery originate from different places. This results support the idea suggested by archaeologists that a group of ancient people migrated to the Shanghai area from some other place 4000 years ago

  13. Sources and Resources for Teaching about Ancient Greece

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiridakis, John N.; Mantzanas, Theophilos

    1977-01-01

    This article identifies print, non-print, and human sources and resources useful to elementary and secondary teachers of ancient Greek history. A rationale for teaching Greek history is also included. (Author/RM)

  14. The rise and fall of communal responsibility in ancient law

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parisi, F.; Dari-Mattiacci, G.; Miller, G.P.

    2010-01-01

    In ancient societies, rules of communal responsibility permitted the imposition of retaliatory sanctions on a wrongdoer's clan. These rules followed the collective ownership structure of early communities. Over time, notions of personal responsibility emerged, terminating the transfer of

  15. Non-destructive sampling of ancient insect DNA

    OpenAIRE

    Thomsen, Philip Francis; Elias, Scott; Gilbert, Tom; Haile, James; Munch, Kasper; Kuzmina, Svetlana; Froese, Duane G; Sher, Andrei; Holdaway, Richard N; Willerslev, Eske

    2009-01-01

    Udgivelsesdato: 2009-null BACKGROUND: A major challenge for ancient DNA (aDNA) studies on insect remains is that sampling procedures involve at least partial destruction of the specimens. A recent extraction protocol reveals the possibility of obtaining DNA from past insect remains without causing visual morphological damage. We test the applicability of this protocol on historic museum beetle specimens dating back to AD 1820 and on ancient beetle chitin remains from permafrost (permanentl...

  16. The Embodiment of Color in Ancient Mediterranean Art

    OpenAIRE

    Stager, Jennifer Margaret Simmons

    2012-01-01

    AbstractThe Embodiment of Color in Ancient Mediterranean ArtbyJennifer Margaret Simmons StagerDoctor of Philosophy in History of ArtUniversity of California, BerkeleyProfessor Andrew F. Stewart, ChairThe polychromy of ancient Mediterranean art is an issue with which scholars have grappled for centuries. The fugitive nature of many pigments coupled with a classicizing taste for the stripped antique fragment have contributed to a fictional narrative that contradicts the material and textual rec...

  17. Similar biodiversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in set-aside plantations and ancient old-growth broadleaved forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spake, Rebecca; van der Linde, Sietse; Newton, Adrian C; Suz, Laura M; Bidartondo, Martin I; Doncaster, C Patrick

    2016-02-01

    Setting aside overmature planted forests is currently seen as an option for preserving species associated with old-growth forests, such as those with dispersal limitation. Few data exist, however, on the utility of set-aside plantations for this purpose, or the value of this habitat type for biodiversity relative to old-growth semi-natural ecosystems. Here, we evaluate the contribution of forest type relative to habitat characteristics in determining species richness and composition in seven forest blocks, each containing an ancient old-growth stand (> 1000 yrs) paired with a set-aside even-aged planted stand (ca. 180 yrs). We investigated the functionally important yet relatively neglected ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF), a group for which the importance of forest age has not been assessed in broadleaved forests. We found that forest type was not an important determinant of EMF species richness or composition, demonstrating that set-aside can be an effective option for conserving ancient EMF communities. Species richness of above-ground EMF fruiting bodies was principally related to the basal area of the stand (a correlate of canopy cover) and tree species diversity, whilst richness of below-ground ectomycorrhizae was driven only by tree diversity. Our results suggest that overmature planted forest stands, particularly those that are mixed-woods with high basal area, are an effective means to connect and expand ecological networks of ancient old-growth forests in historically deforested and fragmented landscapes for ectomycorrhizal fungi.

  18. Progress in urban dispersion studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batchvarova, E.; Gryning, Sven-Erik

    2006-01-01

    The present Study addresses recent achievements in better representation Of the urban area structure in meteorology and dispersion parameterisations. The setup and Main Outcome of several recent dispersion experiments in Urban areas and their use in model validation are discussed. The maximum...... BUBBLE Tracer Experiment) the horizontal spread of the plume corresponds to a Lagrangian time scale bigger than the value for ground Sources. Turbulence measurements LIP to 3-5 times the building height Lire needed for direct use in dispersion Calculations....

  19. Ancient Fungal Life in North Pacific Eocene Oceanic Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumann, G.; Manz, W.; Reitner, J.; Lustrino, M.

    2003-12-01

    Little is known about the manifold life forms of the deep biosphere although there is increasing scientific evidence that an extensive biosphere does exist in extreme environments such as the rocks below the seafloor. The ODP Leg 200 was devoted to the study of Eocene oceanic crust of the North Pacific Ocean. Within a massive tholeiitic lava flow unit, at depth of 51 mbsf underneath a water column of about 5000 m, we found unique filamentous structures. Based on morphological traits like branching, septa and central pores the filaments are interpreted as fungi. These filaments were found within carbonate-filled vesicles ranging in size from 0.5 to 3 mm in diameter. The net of fungal hyphae completely fills the whole pore space from the basalt-carbonate boundary towards the center of the pores. The cross section dimension of these filaments is about 5-10 micrometer and the length differ from 50 to several hundreds micrometer. Thereby the cell septa of the hyphae are clearly visible. The number of hyphae ranges from some tenth to some hundreds per particular pore. The presence of pyrite within the carbonate cements points out anaerobic conditions in this habitat. After removing the carbonate by etching the vesicles with diluted formic acid, the 3-dimensional structure of the fungus could be clearly visualized. Fine structure analysis of the hyphae obtained by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) revealed a network of tiny small fibers coating the surface of the hyphae. Semi-quantitative chemical analyses of the etched hyphae were conducted with an energy dispersive spectrometer system (EDS) coupled with the FE-SEM. The results evidence a chemical composition of the hyphae different from the surrounding carbonate matrix. Undisturbed filamentous growth through different calcite crystals within the vesicles and small open space between the fungi and matrix indicate endolithic fungal growth after the calcium carbonate filling of the vesicles. To the best

  20. Ancient DNA and the tropics: a rodent's tale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-García, Tania A; Vázquez-Domínguez, Ella; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Kuch, Melanie; Enk, Jacob; King, Christine; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2014-06-01

    Most genetic studies of Holocene fauna have been performed with ancient samples from dry and cold regions, in which preservation of fossils is facilitated and molecular damage is reduced. Ancient DNA work from tropical regions has been precluded owing to factors that limit DNA preservation (e.g. temperature, hydrolytic damage). We analysed ancient DNA from rodent jawbones identified as Ototylomys phyllotis, found in Holocene and Late Pleistocene stratigraphic layers from Loltún, a humid tropical cave located in the Yucatan peninsula. We extracted DNA and amplified six short overlapping fragments of the cytochrome b gene, totalling 666 bp, which represents an unprecedented success considering tropical ancient DNA samples. We performed genetic, phylogenetic and divergence time analyses, combining sequences from ancient and modern O. phyllotis, in order to assess the ancestry of the Loltún samples. Results show that all ancient samples fall into a unique clade that diverged prior to the divergence of the modern O. phyllotis, supporting it as a distinct Pleistocene form of the Ototylomys genus. Hence, this rodent's tale suggests that the sister group to modern O. phyllotis arose during the Miocene-Pliocene, diversified during the Pleistocene and went extinct in the Holocene. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.