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Woche bis zum 2022-02-20

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Spinney 2022

Laura Spinney, Pandemics disable people, The history lesson that policymakers ignore. nature 602 (2022), 383–385.

Influenza, polio and more have shown that infections can change lives even decades later. Why the complacency over possible long-term effects of COVID-19?

Wadman 2022

Meredith Wadman, COVID-19 boosts risk of heart disease 1 year later. science 375 (2022), 706–707. <DOI:10.1126/science.ada1333>.

Giant study shows even mild cases can take a long-term toll on heart and blood vessels.


Brown 2022

Samantha Brown, Diyendo Massilani, Thomas Higham & Katerina Douka et al., The earliest Denisovans and their cultural adaptation. Nature Ecology & Evolution 6 (2022), 28–35.


Since the initial identification of the Denisovans a decade ago, only a handful of their physical remains have been discovered. Here we analysed  3,800 non-diagnostic bone fragments using collagen peptide mass fingerprinting to locate new hominin remains from Denisova Cave (Siberia, Russia). We identified five new hominin bones, four of which contained sufficient DNA for mitochondrial analysis. Three carry mitochondrial DNA of the Denisovan type and one was found to carry mtDNA of the Neanderthal type. The former come from the same archaeological layer near the base of the cave’s sequence and are the oldest securely dated evidence of Denisovans at 200 ka (thousand years ago) (205–192 ka at 68.2 % or 217–187 ka at 95 % probability). The stratigraphic context in which they were located contains a wealth of archaeological material in the form of lithics and faunal remains, allowing us to determine the material culture associated with these early hominins and explore their behavioural and environmental adaptations. The combination of bone collagen fingerprinting and genetic analyses has so far more-than-doubled the number of hominin bones at Denisova Cave and has expanded our understanding of Denisovan and Neanderthal interactions, as well as their archaeological signatures.

Samantha Brown, Diyendo Massilani, Maxim B. Kozlikin, Michael V. Shunkov, Anatoly P. Derevianko, Alexander Stoessel, Blair Jope-Street, Matthias Meyer, Janet Kelso, Svante Pääbo, Thomas Higham & Katerina Douka


Parker Pearson 2021

Mike Parker Pearson, Archaeology and legend, Investigating Stonehenge. Archaeology International 24 (2021), 144–164.

Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments, built 4,500–5,000 years ago during the Neolithic in a time long before written history. The recent dramatic discovery of a dismantled stone circle near the sources of some of Stonehenge’s stones in southwest Wales raises the fascinating possibility that an ancient story about Stonehenge’s origin, written down 900 years ago and subsequently dismissed as pure invention, might contain a grain of truth. This article explores the pros and cons of comparing the legend with the archaeological evidence.

Keywords: Neolithic | Stonehenge | stone circles | Britain | legend


Pagelson 2022

Yarden Pagelson, Hayah Katz & Yuval Goren, The geopolitics of the Upper Galilee at the dawn of the Iron Age, A petrographic study of Mt. Adir. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (2022), preprint, 1–14. <DOI:10.1007/s12520-021-01462-6>.

Located in the steep hilly terrain of the Upper Galilee, the Iron Age I mountain fort of Mt. Adir dominates its surroundings. The region’s topography has limited population growth throughout history, which in turn has limited archaeological research. This situation is improving however, with renewed surveys, excavations and re-examination of unpublished finds. Concordantly, this study is part of a renewed publication of the finds from the excavation of Mt. Adir. A time of geopolitical shift, the Levantine Iron Age I saw the appearance of new local polities. While some vanished as soon as they appeared, others became regional powers. Sitting in the border area between such groups, the cultural and political affinity of Mt. Adir, and in accordance its environs, has been an ongoing source of debate. For these reasons, a petrographic study of the pottery assemblage was initiated, examining a range of ceramic types. By reconstructing the movement of goods, we aim to help shed light on the geopolitical status of the region. Four of the petrographic groups were made locally or at a nearby region, the other two reflect geological environments of the Mediterranean coast, areas which at the period were part of Phoenicia. In addition, we discuss new and legacy data concerning the production local of the wavy-band pithoi, suggested in the past to have been produced in Tyre.

Keywords: Iron Age | Southern Levant | Archaeology | Upper Galilee | Petrography | Phoenicia | Provenance study


Schulting 2022

Rick J. Schulting et al., Radiocarbon dating from Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov cemetery reveals complex human responses to socio-ecological stress during the 8.2 ka cooling event. Nature Ecology & Evolution 6 (2022), 155–162.

NatEcoEvo06-0155-Supplement1.pdf, NatEcoEvo06-0155-Supplement2.xlsx

Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov in Karelia, northwest Russia, is one of the largest Early Holocene cemeteries in northern Eurasia, with 177 burials recovered in excavations in the 1930s; originally, more than 400 graves may have been present. A new radiocarbon dating programme, taking into account a correction for freshwater reservoir effects, suggests that the main use of the cemetery spanned only some 100–300 years, centring on ca. 8250 to 8000 cal bp. This coincides remarkably closely with the 8.2 ka cooling event, the most dramatic climatic downturn in the Holocene in the northern hemisphere, inviting an interpretation in terms of human response to a climate-driven environmental change. Rather than suggesting a simple deterministic relationship, we draw on a body of anthropological and archaeological theory to argue that the burial of the dead at this location served to demarcate and negotiate rights of access to a favoured locality with particularly rich and resilient fish and game stocks during a period of regional resource depression. This resulted in increased social stress in human communities that exceeded and subverted the ‘normal’ commitment of many hunter-gatherers to egalitarianism and widespread resource sharing, and gave rise to greater mortuary complexity. However, this seems to have lasted only for the duration of the climate downturn. Our results have implications for understanding the context of the emergence—and dissolution—of socio-economic inequality and territoriality under conditions of socio-ecological stress.

Rick J. Schulting, Kristiina Mannermaa, Pavel E. Tarasov, Thomas Higham, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Valeri Khartanovich, Vyacheslav Moiseyev, Dmitriy Gerasimov, John O’Shea & Andrzej Weber


Domínguez-Solera 2021

Santiago David Domínguez-Solera, José-Manuel Maíllo-Fernández, Enrique Baquedano & Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, Equids can also make stone artefacts. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 40 (2021), 103260, 1–7.


Identifying how early humans flaked stone tools is one of the crucial elements in hominin evolution. Here, we show that equids can sometimes also produce equally complex cores with conchoidal breakages that exhibit the characteristics of intentionally-flaked hominin artefacts by bipolar technique and methods. As a result, sharp edged flakes with percussion platforms, previous scars and bulbs, which can easily be mistaken with homininmade flakes, are also produced by equid self-trimming. Given the ubiquitous presence of equids in landscapes inhabited by hominins, this imposes caution when interpreting isolated flaked rocks and urges some degree of revision of the criteria to identify strictly hominin-made tools.

Keywords: Equids | Flaking | Oldowan | Bipolar technique | Lithic technology


Philpot 2020

Richard Philpot, Lasse Suonperä Liebst, Mark Levine, Wim Bernasco & Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard, Would I Be Helped? Cross-National CCTV Footage Shows That Intervention Is the Norm in Public Conflicts. American Psychologist 75 (2020), 66–75.

Half a century of research on bystander behavior concludes that individuals are less likely to intervene during an emergency when in the presence of others than when alone. By contrast, little is known regarding the aggregated likelihood that at least someone present at an emergency will do something to help. The importance of establishing this aggregated intervention baseline is not only of scholarly interest but is also the most pressing question for actual public victims—will I receive help if needed? The current article describes the largest systematic study of real-life bystander intervention in actual public conflicts captured by surveillance cameras. Using a unique cross-national video dataset from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and South Africa (N . 219), we show that in 9 of 10 public conflicts, at least 1 bystander, but typically several, will do something to help. We record similar likelihoods of intervention across the 3 national contexts, which differ greatly in levels of perceived public safety. Finally, we find that increased bystander presence is related to a greater likelihood that someone will intervene. Taken together these findings allay the widespread fear that bystanders rarely intervene to help. We argue that it is time for psychology to change the narrative away from an absence of help and toward a new understanding of what makes intervention successful or unsuccessful.

Keywords: bystander effect | bystander intervention | aggression and violence | dangerous emergencies | helping and prosocial behavior

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