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Jens Hainmueller & Dominik Hangartner, Who Gets a Swiss Passport? A Natural Experiment in Immigrant Discrimination. American Political Science Review 107 (2013), 159–187.
We study discrimination against immigrants using microlevel data from Switzerland, where, until recently, some municipalities used referendums to decide on the citizenship applications of foreign residents. We show that naturalization decisions vary dramatically with immigrants' attributes, which we collect from official applicant descriptions that voters received before each referendum. Country of origin determines naturalization success more than any other applicant characteristic, including language skills, integration status, and economic credentials. The average proportion of “no” votes is about 40 % higher for applicants from (the former) Yugoslavia and Turkey compared to observably similar applicants from richer northern and western European countries. Statistical and taste-based discrimination contribute to varying naturalization success; the rewards for economic credentials are higher for applicants from disadvantaged origins, and origin-based discrimination is much stronger in more xenophobic municipalities. Moreover, discrimination against specific immigrant groups responds dynamically to changes in the groups' relative size.
Martin Kenney, Dan Breznitz & Michael Murphree, Coming back home after the sun rises: Returnee entrepreneurs and growth of high tech industries. Research Policy 42 (2013), 391–407.
Recently, the role of returnees in the economic development of various East Asian nations has received much attention. The early literature on the relocation of the most highly trained individuals from a developing nation to a developed nation viewed the phenomena as a “brain drain.” Since the 1990s, a new strand of thinking has suggested that for developing nations this was actually a positive phenomenon; as these expatriates studied and then worked abroad, they absorbed technical expertise, managerial, and entrepreneurial skills. These theories stipulated that these expatriates then returned home, and ignited a virtuous circle of technological entrepreneurship leading to rapid economic development. Much of this literature gives returnees a critical role in the home country's take-off period of the local information and communications technology (ICT) industry. This interpretative essay examines the evidence for three of the most prominent East Asian economic success stories – Taiwan, China and India – to determine the actual role played by returnees in their ICT industries' growth. The key question is whether returnees were critical for the initial development period, or whether they played an important role only in the later, expansionary phase of the industry. We find, contrary to the current literature that returnees were not critical, in the initial formation of these countries' ICT industries, but did play an active role in the secondary developmental phase after indigenous entrepreneurs and policy makers had laid the groundwork for the industry.
Keywords: High skilled immigrants | Innovation | Technology policy | Economic growth | Entrepreneurship
Zeeya Merali, Fire in the Hole! nature 496 (2013), 20–23.
Will an astronaut who falls into a black hole be crushed or burned to a crisp?
Jonathan F. Russell, If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing twice. nature 496 (2013), 7.
Researchers and funding agencies need to put a premium on ensuring that results are reproducible, argues Jonathan F. Russell.
Not every paper needs to be medically relevant, but at the very least they should all be reproducible. Reproducibility separates science from mere anecdote. Some journals already offer to publish replication studies, and there are nascent projects aimed at reproducing work in individual fields from disease to psychology. But these are stopgap solutions. A more comprehensive answer is required.
Science already self-corrects. True, but the timescale is long and the associated waste is vast. Even outright fraud can take decades to come to light, and negative results rarely come to light at all. Under my proposal, negative results would be valued and valuable.
But there is no money available. This reform should save money by redirecting spending towards science that is reproducible. Society will receive a higher return on its investment in the form of treatments and cures.
Acknowledging irreproducibility in science undermines public trust. Trust is already being undermined. It is best that we reverse the tide and restore that trust by practising transparency.
It would discourage high-risk, high-reward science, which is less likely to be reproducible. There would be no requirement that a study be replicated before publication. If a risky paper ends up being reproducible, everybody wins. But if repeated attempts to reproduce it fail, it is not a valid finding — there is no reward to society. Why pretend otherwise?
Wolfgang P. Schleich, Daniel M. Greenberger, Donald H. Kobe & Marlan O. Scully, Schrödinger equation revisited. PNAS 110 (2013), 5374–5379.
The time-dependent Schrödinger equation is a cornerstone of quantum physics and governs all phenomena of the microscopic world. However, despite its importance, its origin is still not widely appreciated and properly understood. We obtain the Schrödinger equation from a mathematical identity by a slight generalization of the formulation of classical statistical mechanics based on the Hamilton–Jacobi equation. This approach brings out most clearly the fact that the linearity of quantum mechanics is intimately connected to the strong coupling between the amplitude and phase of a quantum wave.
Susan Wagner Cook, Ryan G. Duffy & Kimberly M. Fenn, Consolidation and Transfer of Learning After Observing Hand Gesture. Child Development (2013), preprint, 1–9. <DOI:10.1111/cdev.12097>.
Children who observe gesture while learning mathematics perform better than children who do not, when tested immediately after training. How does observing gesture influence learning over time? Children (n = 184, ages = 7–10) were instructed with a videotaped lesson on mathematical equivalence and tested immediately after training and 24 hr later. The lesson either included speech and gesture or only speech. Children who saw gesture performed better overall and performance improved after 24 hr. Children who only heard speech did not improve after the delay. The gesture group also showed stronger transfer to different problem types. These findings suggest that gesture enhances learning of abstract concepts and affects how learning is consolidated over time.
C. R. Gallistel & John Gibbon, Time, Rate, and Conditioning. Psychological Review 107 (2000), 289–344.
The authors draw together and develop previous timing models for a broad range of conditioning phenomena to reveal their common conceptual foundations: First, conditioning depends on the learning of the temporal intervals between events and the reciprocals of these intervals, the rates of event occurrence. Second, remembered intervals and rates translate into observed behavior through decision processes whose structure is adapted to noise in the decision variables. The noise and the uncertainties consequent on it have both subjective and objective origins. A third feature of these models is their timescale invariance, which the authors argue is a very important property evident in the available experimental data. This conceptual framework is similar to the psychophysical conceptual framework in which contemporary models of sensory processing are rooted. The authors contrast it with the associative conceptual framework.
Stanley B. Klein, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby & Sarah Chance, Decisions and the Evolution of Memory: Multiple Systems, Multiple Functions. Psychological Review 109 (2002), 306–329.
Memory evolved to supply useful, timely information to the organism's decision-making systems. Therefore, decision rules, multiple memory systems, and the search engines that link them should have coevolved to mesh in a coadapted, functionally interlocking way. This adaptationist perspective suggested the scope hypothesis: When a generalization is retrieved from semantic memory, episodic memories that are inconsistent with it should be retrieved in tandem to place boundary conditions on the scope of the generalization. Using a priming paradigm and a decision task involving person memory, the authors tested and confirmed this hypothesis. The results support the view that priming is an evolved adaptation. They further show that dissociations between memory systems are not—and should not be—% absolute: Independence exists for some tasks but not others.
Emily Jane McTavish, Jared E. Decker, Robert D. Schnabel, Jeremy F. Taylor & David M. Hillis, New World cattle show ancestry from multiple independent domestication events. PNAS 110 (2013), E1398–E1406.
Previous archeological and genetic research has shown that modern cattle breeds are descended from multiple independent domestication events of thewild aurochs (Bos primigenius) 10,000 y ago.Two primary areas of domestication in the Middle East/Europe and the Indian subcontinent resulted in taurine and indicine lines of cattle, respectively. American descendants of cattle brought by European explorers to the New World beginning in 1493 generally have been considered to belong to the taurine lineage. Our analyses of 47,506 single nucleotide polymorphisms show that these New World cattle breeds, as well as many related breeds of cattle in southern Europe, actually exhibit ancestry from both the taurine and indicine lineages. In this study, we show that, although European cattle are largely descended from the taurine lineage, gene ow from African cattle (partially of indicine origin) contributed substantial genomic components to both southern European cattle breeds and their New World descendants. New World cattle breeds, such as Texas Longhorns, provide an opportunity to study global population structure and domestication in cattle. Following their introduction into the Americas in the late 1400s, semiferal herds of cattle underwent between 80 and 200 generations of predominantly natural selection, as opposed to the human-mediated articial selection of Old World breeding programs. Our analyses of global cattle breed population history show that the hybrid ancestry of New World breeds contributed genetic variation that likely facilitated the adaptation of these breeds to a novel environment.
biogeography | bovine | evolution | genome | introgression
Jalal Bakdach, Das Jungpaläolithikum von Jabrud in Syrien. Dissertation, Universität zu Köln (Köln 1982).
Nicolas Carayon, Nick Marriner & Christophe Morhange, Große phönizische Häfen im Mittelmeer. Archäologie in Deutschland 2013 , i, 14–18.
In Byblos, Tyros, Sidon und Beirut untersuchten Archäologen und Geowissenschaftler, wie die antiken phönizischen Häfen einst angelegt waren. In diesen seit Jahrtausenden stark urbanisierten Bereichen geben die wenigen baulichen Überreste kaum Hinweise auf die einstige Infrastruktur. Erst durch neue geoarchäologische Ansätze kommt man hier einen großen Schritt weiter.
Roger Seiler, Andrew I. Spielman, Albert Zink & Frank Rühli, Oral pathologies of the Neolithic Iceman, c. 3,300 bc. European Journal of Oral Sciences (2013), preprint, 1–5. <DOI:10.1111/eos.12037>.
The famous Iceman ` E Otzi' (South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Bolzano, Italy), a Neolithic human ice mummy, offers a unique opportunity to study evolutionary aspects of oral disease. The aim of this study was to assess, for the very first time, his oral cavity, which surprisingly had never been examined systematically. Based on several computed tomography (CT) scans from 1991 onwards and on macroscopic investigation, only a few findings, such as a central maxillary diastema, heavy abrasions, and missing wisdom teeth, were known. We re-evaluated the latest CT scans from 2005 and found various oral pathologies. In line with the increase of tooth decay in the Neolithic – because of diet change in this historic transition phase – several carious lesions were found, one of which penetrated into the dental pulp. In accordance with the Iceman's troubled life, as several injuries on his body and his violent death attest, mechanical trauma of one of his upper front teeth is evident. Finally, the poor periodontal condition of the Iceman's dentition (e.g. loss of alveolar bone), indicative of periodontitis, was assessed. These oral pathological findings in the Iceman's dentition provide a unique glimpse into the evolutionary history of oral conditions.
Keywords: caries; mummy; paleopathology; periodontitis; prehistory
Geraldine E. Fahy, Michael Richards, Julia Riedel, Jean-Jacques Hublin & Christophe Boesch, Stable isotope evidence of meat eating and hunting specialization in adult male chimpanzees. PNAS 110 (2013), 5829–5833.
Observations of hunting and meat eating in our closest living relatives, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), suggest that among primates, regular inclusion of meat in the diet is not a characteristic unique to Homo. Wild chimpanzees are known to consume vertebrate meat, but its actual dietary contribution is, depending on the study population, often either unknown or minimal. Constraints on continual direct observation throughout the entire hunting season mean that behavioral observations are limited in their ability to accurately quantify meat consumption. Here we present direct stable isotope evidence supporting behavioral observations of frequent meat eating among wild adult male chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire. Meat eating among some of the male chimpanzees is significant enough to result in a marked isotope signal detectable on a short-term basis in their hair keratin and long-term in their bone collagen. Although both adult males and females and juveniles derive their dietary protein largely from daily fruit and seasonal nut consumption, our data indicate that some adult males also derive a large amount of dietary protein from hunted meat. Our results reinforce behavioral observations of male-dominated hunting and meat eating in adult Taï chimpanzees, suggesting that sex differences in food acquisition and consumption may have persisted throughout hominin evolution, rather than being a recent development in the human lineage.
dietary ecology | stable isotope analysis | human evolution
Li Liu, Sheahan Bestel, Jinming Shi, Yanhua Song & Xingcan Chen, Paleolithic human exploitation of plant foods during the last glacial maximum in North China. PNAS 110 (2013), 5380–5385.
Three grinding stones from Shizitan Locality 14 (ca. 23,000–19,500 calendar years before present) in the middle Yellow River region were subjected to usewear and residue analyses to investigate human adaptation during the last glacial maximum (LGM) period, when resources were generally scarce and plant foods may have become increasingly important in the human diet. The results show that these tools were used to process various plants, including Triticeae and Paniceae grasses, Vigna beans, Dioscorea opposita yam, and Trichosanthes kirilowii snakegourd roots. Tubers were important food resources for Paleolithic hunter–gatherers, and Paniceae grasses were exploited about 12,000 y before their domestication. The long tradition of intensive exploitation of certain types of flora helped Paleolithic people understand the properties of these plants, including their medicinal uses, and eventually led to the plants' domestication. This study sheds light on the deep history of the broad spectrumsubsistence strategy characteristic of late Pleistocene north China before the origins of agriculture in this region.
ancient starch | late Paleolithic China | plant processing | usewear analysis | stone tool function
Edu O. Effiom, Gabriela Nuñez-Iturri, Henrik G. Smith, Ulf Ottosson & Ola Olsson, Bushmeat hunting changes regeneration of African rainforests. Proc. Royal Society B (2013), preprint, 1–8. <DOI:10.1098/rspb.2013.0246>.
To assess ecological consequences of bushmeat hunting in African lowland rainforests, we compared paired sites, with high and low hunting pressure, in three areas of southeastern Nigeria. In hunted sites, populations of important seed dispersers—both small and large primates (including the Cross River gorilla, Gorilla gorilla diehli)—were drastically reduced. Large rodents were more abundant in hunted sites, even though they are hunted. Hunted and protected sites had similar mature tree communities dominated by primate-dispersed species. In protected sites, seedling communities were similar in composition to the mature trees, but in hunted sites species with other dispersal modes dominated among seedlings. Seedlings emerging 1 year after clearing of all vegetation in experimental plots showed a similar pattern to the standing seedlings. This study thus verifies the transforming effects of bushmeat hunting on plant communities of tropical forests and is one of the first studies to do so for the African continent.
Keywords: bushmeat hunting, seedling community, seed dispersal
S. L. Jaccard, C. T. Hayes, A. Martínez-García, D. A. Hodell, R. F. Anderson, D. M. Sigman & G. H. Haug, Two Modes of Change in Southern Ocean Productivity Over the Past Million Years. science 339 (2013), 1419–1423.
Export of organic carbon from surface waters of the Antarctic Zone of the Southern Ocean decreased during the last ice age, coinciding with declining atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, signaling reduced exchange of CO2 between the ocean interior and the atmosphere. In contrast, in the Subantarctic Zone, export production increased into ice ages coinciding with rising dust fluxes, thus suggesting iron fertilization of subantarctic phytoplankton. Here, a new high-resolution productivity record from the Antarctic Zone is compiled with parallel subantarctic data over the past million years. Together, they fit the view that the combination of these two modes of Southern Ocean change determines the temporal structure of the glacial-interglacial atmospheric CO2 record, including during the interval of “lukewarm” interglacials between 450 and 800 thousand years ago.
Vladimir Petoukhov, Stefan Rahmstorf, Stefan Petri & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Quasiresonant amplification of planetary waves and recent Northern Hemisphere weather extremes. PNAS 110 (2013), 5336–5341.
In recent years, the Northern Hemisphere has suffered several devastating regional summer weather extremes, such as the European heat wave in 2003, the Russian heat wave and the Indus river flood in Pakistan in 2010, and the heat wave in the United States in 2011. Here, we propose a common mechanism for the generation of persistent longitudinal planetary-scale high-amplitude patterns of the atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes. Those patterns—with zonal wave numbers m = 6, 7, or 8—are characteristic of the above extremes. We show that these patterns might result from trapping within midlatitude waveguides of free synoptic waves with zonal wave numbers k m. Usually, the quasistationary dynamical response with the above wave numbers m to climatological mean thermal and orographic forcing is weak. Such midlatitude waveguides, however, may favor a strong magnification of that response through quasiresonance.
atmospheric dynamics | mid-latitude Rossby wave trapping
Bernhard Weninger & Lee Clare, Holocene Rapid Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean, An Emerging Archaeological Climate Research Programm. In: Raiko Krauß (Hrsg.), Beginnings – New Research in the Appearance of the Neolithic between Northwest Anatolia and the Carpathian Basin, Papers of the International Workshop 8th–9th April 2009, Istanbul. Menschen – Kulturen – Traditionen 1 (preprint), 11–22.
In this paper we review the impact of Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), as defined by Mayewski et al.1 and Rohling et al.2, on prehistoric communities in the eastern Mediterranean. Following an introduction to the RCC-mechanism, we assemble an up-to-date selection of recently published palaeoclimate records (terrestrial, marine, and stalagmite) from the region. These records together provide significant evidence for the occurrence of a series of quasicyclic Holocene RCC-conditions. In combination with high-resolution Greenland GISP2 ice-core glaciochemical records, the available set of marine and environmental data allow an accurate (decadel scale) forecasting of expected dates for the most extreme Holocene RCC-conditions in the eastern Mediterranean basin. Based on a set of delimited ages for RCC, we propose a climatic background for the following archaeological processes and events: (1) the end of the Aegean Bronze Age at 3.0 ka cal BP, (2) the collapse of the SE-European Copper Age at 6.2 ka cal BP, and (3) the abandonment of Catalhöyük at 8.2 ka cal BP. Finally, we show that the Early Chalcolithic site of Ulucak on the western Turkish coast3 was first inhabited at the onset of the 8.6–8.0 ka cal BP RCC cold period. This supports previous proposals4 that the processes associated with the spread of early farming from central Anatolia to the Balkan Peninsula may also have had a significant climate component.
Nicholas Shea, Imitation as an inheritance system. Phil. Trans. Royal Society B 364 (2009), 2429–2443.
What is the evolutionary significance of the various mechanisms of imitation, emulation and social learning found in humans and other animals? This paper presents an advance in the theoretical resources for addressing that question, in the light of which standard approaches from the cultural evolution literature should be refocused. The central question is whether humans have an imitationbased inheritance system—a mechanism that has the evolutionary function of transmitting behavioural phenotypes reliably down the generations. To have the evolutionary power of an inheritance system, an imitiation-based mechanism must meet a range of demanding requirements. The paper goes on to review the evidence for and against the hypothesis that there is indeed an imitation-based inheritance system in humans. Keywords: mechanisms of imitation; evolution of imitation; inheritance system; mirror system; cultural evolution
Tjeerd H. van Andel, William Davies, Bernhard Weninger & Olaf Jöris, Archaeological Dates as Proxies for the Spatial and Temporal Human Presence in Europe, A Discourse on the Method. In: T. H. van Andel, W. Davies, L. Aiello & Stage 3 Project (Hrsg.), Neanderthals and Modern Humans in the European Landscape During the Last Glaciation, Archaeological Results of the Stage 3 Project. McDonald Institute Monographs (Cambridge 2003), 21–29.
Tjeerd H. van Andel, William Davies & Bernard Weninger, The Human Presence in Europe during the Last Glacial, Period I: Human Migrations and the Changing Climate. In: T. H. van Andel, W. Davies, L. Aiello & Stage 3 Project (Hrsg.), Neanderthals and Modern Humans in the European Landscape During the Last Glaciation, Archaeological Results of the Stage 3 Project. McDonald Institute Monographs (Cambridge 2003), 31–56.
An anonymous reviewer of an earlier version of this chapter asked why we cast our study in terms of human species, thereby adding another speculative dimension to our work. The answer is that we are concerned with the behaviour of human beings belonging to two species and their responses to the ever-changing climate and landscape of the last glaciation; their stone tools are merely a means of labelling them. If we accept Mousterian lithics as proxies for the presence of the Neanderthals whose fate we wish to trace, we can draw on a much larger data set than if we limit ourselves to Neanderthal skeletal finds (cf. Tables 4.1 & 4.2). The Aurignacian, Gravettian and other, later lithic complexes reliably carry the flag for the newly arrived Anatomically Modern Humans. But in the end, when we consider the final question of the Stage 3 Project: `Why did the Neanderthals perish while Anatomically Modern Humans flourished?' we shall propose hypotheses and explanations about people, not industrial complexes.
Titelthema, Krieg im Neolithikum. Archäologie in Deutschland 2013 , i, 20–39.
Andrea Zeeb-Lanz: „Bewaffneter Konflikt“ oder organisierte Waffengewalt?
Die verschiedenen Definitionen von „Krieg“ beinhalten üblicherweise folgende Kriterien: Krieg ist ein mit Waffengewalt ausgetragener Konflikt; er ist organisiert sowie zentral gelenkt und stellt eine soziale Aktivität dar. Kriege weisen ein gewisses Maß an Kontinuität auf, und mindestens zwei gegnerische Gruppierungen sind daran beteiligt. Dagegen gelten eher sporadisch auftretende, nicht zentral organisierte gewaltsame Übergriffe als „bewaffneter Konflikt“.
Mark Golitko: Tiefe Gräben, hohe Wälle – Bollwerke der Steinzeit
Bevor im späten Mittelalter Schießpulver zum Einsatz kam, dienten Befestigungen zum Schutz der Siedlungen und stellten somit eine verbreitete Reaktion auf Zeiten verstärkter Gewalt dar. Zwar konnten ringförmige Einfriedungen aus vielerlei Gründen angelegt werden, etwa für Rituale wie in Stonehenge, doch gibt es bestimmte Merkmale, die sich kulturübergreifend über Tausende von Jahren beim Bau solcher Schutzanlagen wiederfinden.
Joachim Wahl: Eine Rechnung mit vielen Unbekannten
Die moderne Kriminalstatistik weist für Deutschland 4,3 Tötungsdelikte pro 100 000 Einwohner im Jahr aus. Doch wie häufig kamen Neolithiker im Rahmen tätlicher Auseinandersetzungen ums Leben? Schätzungen dazu reichen bis knapp 20 %. Ist das realistisch? So einfach die Fragen klingen, so schwierig sind sie zu beantworten.
Gundula Lidke: Löcher im Kopf – Gewalteinwirkung oder medizinischer Eingriff?
Über die Ursachen und Gründe für prähistorische Trepanationen – operative Eingriffe an Schädeln – ist in der Forschung viel spekuliert worden. Wahrscheinlich handelt es sich zumindest in einigen Fällen um chirurgische Maßnahmen zurVersorgung von Schädelverletzungen, Damit könnten Trepanationen auch Indikatoren unruhiger Zeiten sein, in denen es verstärkt zu Konflikten kam.
Alain Beyneix: Gewaltsamer Tod am sonnigen Mittelmeer
Seit etwa 150 Jahren werden in der Südhälfte Frankreichs, d. h. von der Atlantikküste bis ans Mittelmeer, mehr und mehr neolithische Gräber entdeckt. Gerade in jüngster Zeit legen archäologische Grabungen im Vorfeld von Baumaßnahmen regelmäßig zahlreiche Grabstätten dieser Zeit frei, sodass wir mehr über die ersten bäuerlichen Gesellschaften in diesem Teil Westeuropas erfahren und einen Blick in die Welt ihrer Toten werfen können.
Thomas Terberger: Schwer bewaffnet ins Grab
Mit der Entdeckung einer Pfeilspitze im Rücken wurde aus dem berühmten Hirten aus den Ötztaler Alpen ein Mordopfer und die neuen Erkenntnisse ließen auch die 5300 Jahre alte Ausrüstung in neuem Licht erscheinen. Mit einem Bogen und 14 überwiegend unfertigen Pfeilen, einem Kupferbeil und einem Dolch war der Mann vom Similaun schwer bewaffnet in den Hochalpen unterwegs.
Angel Armendariz, Francisco Etxeberria, Marisol Fernändez, Lourdes Herrasti und Jose Ignacio Vegas: Todbringende Bogenschützen – die Opfer vom Abri San Juan
San Juan ante Portam Latinam ist ein kleiner Abri am Ufer des Ebro in der Provinz La Rioja (südliches Baskenland). In der Provinz gibt es zahlreiche wichtige prähistorische Fundstellen, sowohl in Höhten als auch im Freiland. Der Abri San Juan wurde 1985 rein zufällig entdeckt, als ein Bulldozer beim Wegebau eine Wand der Höhle durchbrochen und eine große Anzahl menschlicher Knochen freigelegt hatte.
Linda Fibiger: Frauen und Kinder – Opfer oder Kämpfer?
Ohne Zweifel gehörten Gewalt und Konflikte zum neolithischen Alltag. Verletzungsspuren an menschlichen Skeletten belegen, dass auch Frauen und Kinder nicht von Gewaltakten verschont blieben. Waren diese Toten einfach nur wehrlose Opfer oder gibt es Indizien dafür, dass Kampfhandlungen nicht ausschließlich von erwachsenen Männern ausgeführt wurden? Eine anthropologische Studie zu gewaltsamen Schädelverletzungen gewährt Einblicke in Verhaltensmuster und Tathergänge im neolithischen Nordwesteuropa.
Peter Pesic, What Poincaré Knew. science 339 (2013), 1384–1385.
Henri Poincaré: A Scientific Biography. by Jeremy Gray. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2013. 608 pp. $35, £24.95. ISBN 9780691152714.
Lawrence Guy Straus, Neanderthals and Modern Humans in the European Landscape during the Last Glaciation. Journal of Anthropological Research 31 (2005), 278–281.
Neanderthals and Modern Humans in the European Landscape during the Last Glaciation: Archaeological Results of the Stage 3 Project. Tjeerd H. van Andel and William Davies, eds. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 2003, xviii + 265 pp., 92 illustrations (15 in color), 45 tables. $ 70.00, cloth.
Why did the Neandertals go extinct? If Professor Tjeerd van Andel's Stage 3 Project had answered this question, it would have been one of the most brilliant interdisciplinary research programs in the history of paleoanthropology. Predictably, however, the results of five years of data collection and analyses point to several of the more likely parameters involved in the demise of the Neandertals. But the problem remains unsolved—much to my regret, but not to my surprise. Don't get me wrong, this book does contain much extraordinary material on dating, paleoclimatic modeling, biogeographic distributional mapping, and archaeological pattern recognition a la Clive Gamble (who appropriately provided the book's Foreword).
I was most excited by the argument of Davies and colleagues in which both climate and relief are major factors in determining where humans could or preferred to live, and under what conditions. This chapter (on site clusters) analyzed three regions (southwest France, the Belgian Ardennes, and the Middle Danube Basin) in detail across the time of the late Mousterian and early Upper Paleolithic, up to the crisis of the Last Glacial Maximum. The kinds of shelter, diverse food resources, fuel, topographic aids to hunting, etc., that are provided by certain kinds of relief (and, conversely, not by others-such as high plateaus and relatively featureless plains) within the complex landscapes of Europe were clearly critical to human survival and widely differential distribution densities. Bravo!
And where do the authors get the idea that Neandertals and Cro-Magnons co-existed for up to 10 ka in Cantabrian Spain? What is the evidence for that? Perhaps the “evidence” is the possible (?) Neandertal juvenile molar from a “leaf-point” cultural level at Couvin Trou de 1'Abime alternatively dated to 26 kya or (more recently and probably more reliably) 47 kya (uncal.)? Archaeological facts, detailed regional knowledge, and critical assessment of records are important, even if not “sexy.”
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