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Goldenberg 2022

Amit Goldenberg, Joseph M. Abruzzo, Zi Huang, Jonas Schöne, David Bailey, Robb Willer, Eran Halperin & James J. Gross, Homophily and acrophily as drivers of political segregation. Nature Human Behaviour (2022), preprint, 1–15. <DOI:10.1038/s41562-022-01474-9>.


Political segregation is an important social problem, increasing polarization and impeding effective governance. Previous work has viewed the central driver of segregation to be political homophily, the tendency to associate with others who have similar views. Here we propose that, in addition to homophily, people’s social tie decisions are driven by political acrophily, the tendency to associate with others who have more extreme political views (rather than more moderate). We examined this using a paradigm in which participants share emotions and attitudes on political policies, observe others’ responses and choose which others to affiliate with. In four studies (N = 1,235), both liberal and conservative participants’ social tie decisions reflected the presence of acrophily. We found that participants who viewed peers who expressed more extreme views as more prototypical of their political group also tended to engage in greater acrophily. These studies identify a previously overlooked tendency in tie formation.


Lemaire 2022

André Lemaire & Jean-Philippe Delorme, Mesha’s Stele and House of David. Biblical Archaeology Review 48 (2022), iv, 34–41.

The Mesha Stele details the victories of King Mesha of Moab over the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. It was found at Dibon, Moab’s capital, and dated to the ninth century B.C.E. The stone contains a possible reference to the “House of David” as Judah’s rulers, which seems to support King David as a historical figure. Thanks to recent photographic evidence, our authors argue that this reading can now be confirmed.

Richelle 2012

Matthieu Richelle, The Bible & Archaeology. (Peabody 2018). Original: La Bible et l’archéologie.

Yogev 2022

Jonathan Yogev, The Riddle of the Rephaim. Biblical Archaeology Review 48 (2022), iv, 68–69.

The Rephaim can be found in various places throughout the Levant, including Canaan, Philistia, Judah, Ammon, Moab, Bashan, Syria, and Phoenicia. This suggests a shared concept, which likely originated in a single place and then spread to different societies in the ancient Levant. The concept identifies a beloved ruler as a part of an ancient divine bloodline of mortal heroes, which provides justification for his own bloodline to rule.

In biblical texts, however, the idea of a semi-divine monarch or a leader cannot be tolerated. The concept of the Rephaim needed to be eradicated from the belief system of Israel and Judah, and this explains the negative treatment they receive in the Bible, which is the complete opposite of how they are viewed in Ugaritic and Phoenician sources.


Lewis 2022

Dyani Lewis, Use of antibiotics to avoid sexual diseases raises concerns. nature 612 (2022), 20–21.

The strategy reduces sexually transmitted infections, but could increase antimicrobial resistance.


Dunnett 2022

Sebastian Dunnett, Robert A. Holland, Gail Taylor & Felix Eigenbrod, Predicted wind and solar energy expansion has minimal overlap with multiple conservation priorities across global regions. PNAS 119 (2022), e2104764119.

pnas119-e2104764119-Supplement.pdf, pnas119-e2104764119-Comment1.pdf, pnas119-e2104764119-Reply1.pdf

Protected areas and renewable energy generation are critical tools to combat biodiversity loss and climate change, respectively. Over the coming decades, expansion of the protected area network to meet conservation objectives will be occurring alongside rapid deployment of renewable energy infrastructure to meet climate targets, driving potential conflict for a finite land resource. Renewable energy infrastructure can have negative effects on wildlife, and co-occurrence may mean emissions targets are met at the expense of conservation objectives. Here, we assess current and projected overlaps of wind and solar photovoltaic installations and important conservation areas across nine global regions using spatially explicit wind and solar data and methods for predicting future renewable expansion. We show similar levels of co-occurrence as previous studies but demonstrate that once area is accounted for, previous concerns about overlaps in the Northern Hemisphere may be largely unfounded, although they are high in some biodiverse countries (e.g., Brazil). Future projections of overlap between the two land uses presented here are generally dependent on priority threshold and region and suggest the risk of future conflict can be low. We use the best available data on protected area degradation to corroborate this level of risk. Together, our findings indicate that while conflicts between renewables and protected areas inevitably do occur, renewables represent an important option for decarbonization of the energy sector that would not significantly affect areabased conservation targets if deployed with appropriate policy and regulatory controls.

Keywords: renewable | energy | biodiversity | conservation

Significance: Conservation scientists warn of the threat to area-based conservation posed by renewable energy infrastructure. Here, we show that the current and near-term overlap of the two land uses need not be as severe as previously suggested. This is important, as global efforts to decarbonize energy systems are central to mitigating against climate change and the strong negative impacts of projected climate change on biodiversity.


Cline 2020

Eric H. Cline, Gottlieb Schumacher, First Excavator of Armageddon. In: Jennie Ebeling & Philippe Guillaume (Hrsg.), The Woman in the Pith Helmet, A Tribute to Archaeologist Norma Franklin. (Atlanta 2020), 103–122.

There have been four expeditions to Megiddo during the course of the past century: Gottlieb Schumacher from 1903–1905, sponsored in part by the German Oriental Society and the German Society for the Exploration of Palestine; the team sent by James Henry Breasted from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago from 1925 to 1939; Yigael Yadin and his students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the 1960s and 1970s; and the Tel Aviv University Expedition, primarily under the direction of Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin, from 1992 onward. This detailed look at Schumacher’s excavation seasons is dedicated with great respect to Norma Franklin, who undoubtedly knows all of it already.

Keywords: Tell el-Mutesellim | Megiddo | excavations | Gottlieb Schumacher | Ottoman Palestine


Ehrman 2016

Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus Before the Gospels, How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented their Stories of the Savior. (New York 2017).

Many believe that the Gospel stories of Jesus are based on eyewitness testimony and are therefore historically reliable. Now, for the first time, a scholar of the New Testament, New York Times bestselling author Bart D. Ehrman (Misquoting Jesus; and Jesus, Interrupted), surveys research from the fields of psychology, anthropology, and sociology to explore how oral traditions and group memories really work and questions how reliable the Gospels can be. Focusing on the decades-long gap between when Jesus lived and when these documents about him began to appear, Ehrman looks to these varied disciplines to see what they can tell us about how the New Testament developed.


Adler 2022

Yonatan Adler, The Genesis of Judaism. Biblical Archaeology Review 48 (2022), iv, 42–49.

Throughout much of history, Jewish life and culture have been characterized by strict adherence to the practices and prohibitions given in the Torah. The origins of that observance, however, have remained a mystery. Consider the archaeological discoveries and ancient texts that reveal when and why ordinary Judeans first adopted the Torah as their authoritative law.

Curry 2022

Andrew Curry, Meeting the Ancestors. science 378 (2022), 940–943.

DNA from a medieval German cemetery opens a window on the history of today’s largest Jewish population.

Bottlenecks call to mind catastrophes, such as massacres or discrimination that prevents people from marrying outside their community. “It’s fair to say Jewish history is one big sequence of bottlenecks,” Rutgers says.

But to Reich, the Erfurt data suggest a brighter possibility: that long before the Erfurt Jews were laid to rest, somewhere in Europe a few dozen people flourished, passing their genes and culture to millions of people living today despite a history of brutal persecution. “Perhaps it’s the legacy of a small town that had a tradition of very large families, or maybe a few towns with very strong founder events,” Reich says. “Bottlenecks are often thought of as a crisis, but sometimes it’s a group that’s been incredibly successful.”


Rahmstorf 2022

Nicola Ialongo & Lorenz Rahmstorf, “Kannelurensteine”, Balance weights of the Bronze Age? In: Daniela Hofmann, Frank Nikulka & Robert Schumann (Hrsg.), The Baltic in the Bronze Age, Regional patterns, interactions and boundaries. (Leiden 2022), 145–145.

In this paper, we presented a study on the so-called Kannelurensteine, in order to test the hypothesis that they were used as balance weights. Kannelurensteine are a widespread type in Italy, central Europe and southern Scandinavia between c. 1500-800/700 BC. They usually show no signs of use. The association with metallurgy recurs in various regions of Europe, which suggests that the shape was connected with a specific function over a very large area. The mass values are spread out between c. 10-5000 g, and the statistical tests show that there is a very high probability that they were intentionally regulated based on a quantum of c. 450 g. The results of the statistical analysis suggest that the interpretation as balance weights is the only one, among all those that have been proposed in the past, that can explain all the typological, contextual and metrological characteristics of the Kannelurensteine.

Balance weights are the merchants’ tools par excellence. In Mesopotamian and Aegean texts, there is virtually no other use for weight systems than to account for incomes and expenditures, calculate profits and quantify debts (e.g. Bartash 2019). There is no clear indication that weighing technology had a substantial role in manufacturing activities, such as metallurgy. Hence, the possible connection with metalworking tools and facilities, hinted at by some contextual associations of Kannelurensteine and other types of weights (Ialongo and Rahmstorf 2019), suggests that one of the main applications of weighing technology was metal trade. At the same time, this does not imply that metal trade was the only application. We find connections with metallurgy simply because metallurgy leaves clear and permanent traces, while other productive activities are more elusive. Weighing equipment could be used in connection with every trade dealing with “amorphous” substances, such as wool (Sabatini and Bergerbrant 2019), salt (Harding 2021, 134-36) or alum that could not be measured without an abstract frame of reference.


Powell 2022

Wayne Powell et al., Tin from Uluburun shipwreck shows small-scale commodity exchange fueled continental tin supply across Late Bronze Age Eurasia. Science Advances 8 (2022), eabq3766. <DOI:10.1126/sciadv.abq3766>.


This paper provides the first comprehensive sourcing analysis of the tin ingots carried by the well-known Late Bronze Age shipwreck found off the Turkish coast at Uluburun (ca. 1320 BCE). Using lead isotope, trace element, and tin isotope analyses, this study demonstrates that ores from Central Asia (Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) were used to produce one-third of the Uluburun tin ingots. The remaining two-thirds were derived from the Taurus Mountains of Turkey, namely, from stream tin and residual low-grade mineralization remaining after extensive exploitation in the Early Bronze Age. The results of our metallurgical analysis, along with archaeological and textual data, illustrate that a culturally diverse, multiregional, and multivector system underpinned Eurasian tin exchange during the Late Bronze Age. The demonstrable scale of this connectivity reveals a vast and disparate network that relied as much on the participation of small regional communities as on supposedly hegemonic institutions of large, centralized states.

Wayne Powell, Michael Frachetti, Cemal Pulak, H. Arthur Bankoff, Gojko Barjamovic, Michael Johnson, Ryan Mathur, Vincent C. Pigott, Michael Price & K. Aslihan Yener


Desset 2022

François Desset, Kambiz Tabibzadeh, Matthieu Kervran, Gian Pietro Basello & Gianni Marchesi, The Decipherment of Linear Elamite Writing. Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 112 (2022), 11–60.

Linear Elamite writing was used in southern Iran in the late 3rd/early 2nd millennium BCE (ca. 2300–1880 BCE). First discovered during the French excavations at Susa from 1903 onwards, it has so far resisted decipherment. The publication of eight inscribed silver beakers in 2018 provided the materials and the starting point for a new attempt; its Results are presented in this paper. A full description and analysis of Linear Elamite of writing, employed for recording the Elamite language, is given here for the first time, together with a discussion of Elamite phonology and the biscriptualism that characterizes this language in its earliest documented phase.

\cjRL{\hebsize rd’y} 1966

\cjRL{\hebsize yhwdh rd’y} (Yehudah Thomas Radday), \cjRL{\hebsize‘ad hAri’+sOn}, \cjRL{\hebsize g*iy+sAh .ha:dA+sAh l:lim*Ud ha,s*ApAh hA‘ib:riyt hay*i,s:r:’eliyt l:mat:.hiyliym}. (Jerusalem 1966). (Jehuda Radai: Der erste Schritt: Ein neuer Zugang zum Erlernen der israelisch-hebräischen Sprache für Anfänger).

Story or Book

Cline 2019

Eric H. Cline, The Careful Dialogue between Archaeology and the Bible. Biblical Archaeology Review 45 (2019), iii, 62–64.

The Bible and Archaeology. By Matthieu Richelle. Translated by Sarah E. Richelle. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2018), 152 pp., 31 color plates, 1 map, $ 14.95 (paperback)

Others have recently published on [Biblical archaeology], but what sets Richelle’s book apart is that the author is an epigrapher, studying ancient inscriptions, originally under the direction of his teacher André Lemaire, who is well known to readers of BAR. Thus, although the majority of books on archaeology and the Bible mention the relevant ancient texts only in passing, Richelle makes them the centerpiece of much of his book.

Robinson 2022

Andrew Robinson, Ancient Mesopotamian histories. science 378 (2022), 839.

A historian explores the remarkable early civilizations of the Near East, from Uruk to Babylon.

Weavers, Scribes, and Kings. Amanda H. Podany. Oxford University Press, 2022. 672 pp.

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