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Bastard 2020

Paul Bastard & Lindsey B. Rosen et al., Autoantibodies against type I IFNs in patients with life-threatening COVID-19. science 370 (2020), 423. <DOI:10.1126/science.abd4585>.


Interindividual clinical variability in the course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is vast. We report that at least 101 of 987 patients with life-threatening coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia had neutralizing immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies (auto-Abs) against interferon-w (IFN-w) (13 patients), against the 13 types of IFN-a (36), or against both (52) at the onset of critical disease; a few also had auto-Abs against the other three type I IFNs. The auto-Abs neutralize the ability of the corresponding type I IFNs to block SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. These auto-Abs were not found in 663 individuals with asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infection and were present in only 4 of 1227 healthy individuals. Patients with auto-Abs were aged 25 to 87 years and 95 of the 101 were men. A B cell autoimmune phenocopy of inborn errors of type I IFN immunity accounts for lifethreatening COVID-19 pneumonia in at least 2.6 % of women and 12.5 % of men.

Beck 2020

David B. Beck & Ivona Aksentijevich, Susceptibility to severe COVID-19. science 370 (2020), 404–405. <DOI:10.1126/science.abe7591>.

Genetic variants and autoantibodies that suppress antiviral immunity are linked to severe COVID-19

Lee 2020

Elizabeth C. Lee, Nikolas I. Wada, M. Kate Grabowski, Emily S. Gurley & Justin Lessler, The engines of SARS-CoV-2 spread. science 370 (2020), 406–407. <DOI:10.1126/science.abd8755>.

Fighting SARS-CoV-2 requires a clear framework for understanding epidemic spread

[O]verdispersion has considerable implications. First, overdispersion means that most infected individuals who enter a community will not transmit, so many introductions may occur before an epidemic takes hold; likewise, overdispersion also increases the probability of disease extinction as the epidemic recedes and fewer people are infected.

[A]s the epidemic grows, overdispersion will matter less to the trajectory until incidence decreases and case counts are low again.

If transmission is highly overdispersed, broad and untargeted interventions may be less effective than expected, whereas interventions targeted at settings conducive to superspreading (such as mass gatherings and hospitals) may have an outsized effect.

Zhang 2020

Qian Zhang et al., Inborn errors of type I IFN immunity in patients with life-threatening COVID-19. science 370 (2020), 422. <DOI:10.1126/science.abd4570>.


Clinical outcome upon infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) ranges from silent infection to lethal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have found an enrichment in rare variants predicted to be loss-of-function (LOF) at the 13 human loci known to govern Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3)– and interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7)–dependent type I interferon (IFN) immunity to influenza virus in 659 patients with life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia relative to 534 subjects with asymptomatic or benign infection. By testing these and other rare variants at these 13 loci, we experimentally defined LOF variants underlying autosomal-recessive or autosomal-dominant deficiencies in 23 patients (3.5 %) 17 to 77 years of age. We show that human fibroblasts with mutations affecting this circuit are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. Inborn errors of TLR3- and IRF7-dependent type I IFN immunity can underlie life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia in patients with no prior severe infection.


Waters 2020

Michael R. Waters, Thomas W. Stafford Jr. & David L. Carlson, The age of Clovis—13,050 to 12,750 cal yr B.P. Science Advances 6 (2020), eaaz0455. <DOI:10.1126/sciadv.aaz0455>.

Thirty-two radiocarbon ages on bone, charcoal, and carbonized plant remains from 10 Clovis sites range from 11,110 ± 40 to 10,820 ± 10 14C years before the present (yr B.P.). These radiocarbon ages provide a maximum calibrated (cal) age range for Clovis of  13,050 to  12,750 cal yr B.P. This radiocarbon record suggests that Clovis first appeared at the end of the Allerød and is one of at least three contemporary archaeological complexes in the Western Hemisphere during the terminal Pleistocene. Stemmed projectile points in western North America are coeval and even older than Clovis, and the Fishtail point complex is well established in the southern cone of South America by  12,900 cal yr B.P. Clovis disappeared  12,750 cal yr B.P. at the beginning of the Younger Dryas, coincident with the extinction of the remaining North American megafauna (Proboscideans) and the appearance of multiple North American regional archaeological complexes.


Kienlin 2020

Tobias L. Kienlin, Social ‘Structure’ and Space – On the Importance of a Non-reductionist, Practice-based Approach, The Example of Bronze Age Greece. In: Stephan W. E. Blum, Turan Efe, Tobias L. Kienlin & Ernst Pernicka (Hrsg.), From Past to Present, Studies in Memory of Manfred O. Korfmann. Studia Troica Monographien 11 (Bonn 2020), 371–407.

There is no underlying evolutionary logic at work here, and the mere fact that these societies unfolded at diferent times in broadly the same regional setting does not tell us much about their speciic character and operation. Diference prevails, and we see historical development contingent upon numerous factors which have to be accounted for by thorough contextual analysis. There is no justiication for subsuming these groups or communities under an analysis using essentialising terms of supposedly the same social and economic institutions, more or less well ‘developed’. Instead, the sequence discussed is historically speciic, precisely because ater the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces, exceptional themselves on a European scale, only in Greece was a surviving population and newly emergent elites confronted with the remains of a more ‘glorious’ past, and we thus see the deliberate reference back at least by some segments of post-palatial society of Late Helladic IIIC to former ‘greatness’ despite general social and cultural discontinuity. This situation as well as the subsequent ‘Dark Age’ development exempliied here by Lekandi is very diferent from that of other European societies even if some of these may seemingly feature a comparable social and ‘political’ structure of contested leadership, elites in command of limited resources derived only from their rather small communities and trying to develop more stable forms of leadership on this basis – but without a ‘Mycenaean’ past of their own to draw upon or a wider Mediterranean sphere of interaction into which Greece was repeatedly integrated to varying degrees and to diferent outcomes. As has already been argued above, wherever we are working, archaeology should try to establish an understanding of such historically speciic constellations and the material conditions for social action they provided.


Singer 1988

Itamar Singer, Merneptah’s Campaign to Canaan and the Egyptian Occupation of the Southern Coastal Plain of Palestine in the Ramesside Period. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 269 (1988), 1–10.

Alt’s theory that the Ramesside kings of the 19th and early 20th dynasties imposed direct Egyptian rule over large parts of the southern coast of Palestine has been fully corroborated by recent archaeological research. It is now possible to reconstruct the subsequent phases of the “Egyptianization “ of the Shephelah, which more or less correspond to the reigns of Ramses II, Merneptah and Ramses III. In the first phase, strategic places on the “Via Maris,“ such as Aphek and Ashdod, were turned into Egyptian bases. Later, Merneptah eliminated the last Canaanite city-kingdoms on the southern coast, Ashkelon and Gezer, thereby turning the entire route between Gaza and Aphek into a virtual Egyptian highway. Domination of Gezer was also imperative for an attempt to penetrate into the central hill country. Merneptah’s clash with the tribes of Israel should perhaps be understood in that context. After a gap of about two decades in the documentation, the Egyptian reinforcement policy reached its climax under Ramses III. With the annexation of Lachish, Tel Sera’, and perhaps Tell es-Safi, Egyptian jurisdiction extended to the foothills of the Judean mountains. However, this short-lived “swan song” of the Egyptian Empire in Canaan, characterized by extensive economic activities centered around Egyptian religious institutions, ended shortly after Ramses III’s rule.


McGovern 1988

P. E. McGovern, R. H. Michel, M. Saltzman, I. I. Ziderman & O. Elsner, Has Authentic Tekelet Been Identified? Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 269 (1988), 81–90.


de Vernal 2020

Anne de Vernal & Claude Hillaire-Marcel et al., Natural variability of the Arctic Ocean sea ice during the present interglacial. PNAS 117 (2020), 26069–26075.

The impact of the ongoing anthropogenic warming on the Arctic Ocean sea ice is ascertained and closely monitored. However, its long-term fate remains an open question as its natural variability on centennial to millennial timescales is not well documented. Here, we use marine sedimentary records to reconstruct Arctic sea-ice fluctuations. Cores collected along the Lomonosov Ridge that extends across the Arctic Ocean from northern Greenland to the Laptev Sea were radiocarbon dated and analyzed for their micropaleontological and palynological contents, both bearing information on the past sea-ice cover. Results demonstrate that multiyear pack ice remained a robust feature of the western and central Lomonosov Ridge and that perennial sea ice remained present throughout the present interglacial, even during the climate optimum of the middle Holocene that globally peaked  6,500 y ago. In contradistinction, the southeastern Lomonosov Ridge area experienced seasonally sea-ice-free conditions, at least, sporadically, until about 4,000 y ago. They were marked by relatively high phytoplanktonic productivity and organic carbon fluxes at the seafloor resulting in low biogenic carbonate preservation. These results point to contrasted west–east surface ocean conditions in the Arctic Ocean, not unlike those of the Arctic dipole linked to the recent loss of Arctic sea ice. Hence, our data suggest that seasonally ice-free conditions in the southeastern Arctic Ocean with a dominant Arctic dipolar pattern, may be a recurrent feature under “warm world” climate.

Keywords: Arctic | sea ice | Holocene | climate | ocean

Anne de Vernal, Claude Hillaire-Marcel, Cynthia Le Duc, Philippe Roberge, Camille Brice, Jens Matthiessen, Robert F. Spielhagen & Ruediger Stein

Significance: Arctic sea ice is an important component of the Earth’s climate system, but prior to its recent reduction, its long-term natural instabilities need to be better documented. In this study, information on past sea-ice conditions across the Arctic Ocean demonstrates that whereas its western and central parts remained occupied by perennial sea ice throughout the present interglacial, its southeastern sector close to the Russian margin experienced, at least, sporadic seasonal sea-ice-free conditions during the warmer part of the present interglacial until  4,000 y ago. Sea-ice-free conditions during summer in the southeastern Arctic Ocean seem, therefore, to be a recurrent feature linked to its natural variability during warm episodes of the past.


Filipp 2016

Juliane Filipp & Martin Freudenreich, Dieskau und Helmsdorf, Zwei frühbronzezeitliche Mikroregionen im Vergleich. In: Harald Meller, Hans Peter Hahn, Reinhard Jung & Roberto Risch (Hrsg.), Arm und Reich – Zur Ressourcenverteilung in prähistorischen Gesellschaften, 8. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom 22. bis 24. Oktober 2015 in Halle (Saale). (Halle 2016), 407–425.

The concepts of “rich” and “poor”, the opposite poles of an unequal society, have long been integral to cultural-anthropological and cultural-historical discussions and theories. In the case of the central German groups belonging to the Un¡ etice Culture, in particular, and thanks not least to the results of numerous past and current studies, hypotheses have grown up which take graves, hoards, and settlements and their spatial and temporal relationships as the starting point for (re)constructing social inequality. However, it seems particularly difficult to understand these material legacies and their possible social interpretation not only as archaeological snapshots but also as part of a process of economic, political, and social development. Processes of this nature have left no written evidence and are hard to grasp over such long time periods. In the present article, we will nevertheless attempt to sketch out possibilities and potentials on the basis of empirical data. We take as the starting point two neighbouring microregions whose special regional and transregional importance in the 20th–17th centuries BC is shown not least by the presence of richly furnished hoards and graves. Evident commonalities and differences will be discussed with reference to the avail ability and exploitation of resources and the favourability of the geographical location in terms of communications.

“Arm und Reich” – als Gegenpole innerhalb einer ungleichen Gesellschaft – sind seit geraumer Zeit fester Bestandteil kulturanthropologischer und -historischer Fragestellungen und Theorien. Vor allem für die mitteldeutsche Gruppe der Aunjetitzer Kultur (2200–1600 v. Chr.) sind nicht zuletzt durch die Ergebnisse zahlreicher vergangener und aktueller Studien Denkmodelle entstanden, die Gräber, Horte und Siedlungen sowie deren räumliche und zeitliche Beziehung als Ausgangspunkt zur (Re)Konstruktion sozialer Ungleichheit be trachten. Eine besondere Schwierigkeit scheint indes darin zu bestehen, die materiellen Hinterlassenschaften und deren mögliche gesellschaftliche Bedeutung nicht nur als archäo logische Mo mentaufnahmen, sondern ebenso als Bestandteil eines wirtschaftlichen, politischen und sozialen Entwicklungsprozesses zu verstehen. Derartige Prozesse sind ohne schriftliche Überlieferungen und über derart große Zeiträume nur schwer fassbar. Nichtsdestotrotz soll mit dem vorliegenden Artikel der Versuch unternommen werden, zumindest Möglichkeiten und Potenziale auf der Basis empirischer Daten aufzuzeigen. Ausgangspunkt bilden zwei benachbarte Mikroregionen, deren besondere regionale und überregionale Bedeutung während des 20.–17. Jhs. v. Chr. nicht zuletzt durch das Vorhandensein reich ausgestatteter Horte und Gräber belegt werden kann. Inwiefern sich hier Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede abzeichnen, wird anhand der Ressourcenverfügbarkeit und -nutzung sowie der verkehrsgeografischen Lage diskutiert.


Sieverling 2019

Kristina Wörzler & Anne Sieverling, Schritt-für-Schritt Anleitung für Umzeichnungen von Bleistiftzeichnungen mit Inkscape. Online 2019 , Mar. 3. <> (2020-10-25).

Sieverling 2019

Anne Sieverling, Erstellen von Karten mit QGIS. Online 2019 , Mar. 3. <> (2020-10-25).

Sieverling 2019

Anne Sieverling, Georeferenzierung von Karten. Online 2019 , Mar. 3. <> (2020-10-25).

Sieverling 2019

Anne Sieverling, Bearbeitung von Fotografien mit Irfanview. Online 2019 , Mar. 3. <> (2020-10-25).

Sieverling 2020

Anne Sieverling, Rastergrafiken in Vektorgrafiken umwandeln mit Inkscape. Online 2020 , Aug. 19. <> (2020-10-25).

Story or Book

Greenfield 1988

Jonas C. Greenfield, The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 269 (1988), 93–94.

It is difficult to give more than a limited overview of a Festschrift that encompasses 51 contributions of varying size and seriousness.

The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth: Essays Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Sixtieth Birthday, edited by Carol L. Meyers and M. O’Connor. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1983. xviii + 742 pp. $ 35.00.

H. Tadmor’s “Tab-saris or Rabshakeh in 2 Kings 18” (pp. 79-85) deals with an old crux definitively and provides an excellent how one should deal with that material. H. Cazelles brings to “587 or 586?” his wide-ranging knowledge of this as yet unsolved problem; and K. Koch, in “Dareios der Meder” (pp. 287-99), also deals with a subject that has troubled scholars for some time.

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