Articles to 2014-03-22

Zum Seitenende      Übersicht Artikel      Home & Impressum

First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.

Riehl offers a very nice introductory summary of the neolithisation process but with one big omission. While citing an outsider hypothesis by Watkins, requiring a coincidence of timing, that reminds of Old Testament miracles and acts of G-d, she ignores the far simpler explanation by Richerson, Boyd & Bettinger (American Antiquity 66 (2001), 347–411). With ever more very early plant domestications turning up, all in the same time frame and widely scattered in space, excluding any culture contact, their hypothesis can be considered as good as proven by now.

If Mesolithic hunters retained their dark skins after tens of thousands of years in the north as Olalde et al. show, the agricultural lifestyle must have brought a bigger change than yet recognized. The only one I can think of is vitamin D, which must have been a more important shortage than previously assumed. Is it possible early Neolithic meat consumption is overestimated through misreading the isotopic signal of manuring? This might also explain the astonishingly strong selection for lactase persistence later.

Bocherens is another in the rising number of results confirming the misinterpretation of isotope data due to disregard of appropriate contemporary references. Together with the indications for manuring in the Neolithic and Olalde et al. this raises the question, if meat consumption in the Neolithic may have been widely overestimated so far.

The debate over the dating of the Thera eruption continues. Where before I had tended towards Höflmayer in assuming the discrepancy to lie in faulty parallelisation, I now tend to suspect the historical chronology for that period to be off, seeing the persistent offset in Tell el-Dab’a as cited by Bietak and Bruins & van der Plicht. If so this is rather surprising. As historical dating is built from the top down and seems to be correct for older periods, it implies two counting errors, the younger losing and the older adding about a hundred years.

Irimescu et al. employ the well known and common method of choosing a particularly bad baseline to compare their own suggested improvements to. The very rich setting of their carburetor at λ = 0.8 is chosen for highest reliability with primitive and highly imprecise carburation at the cost of inferior efficiency and very dirty exhaust and thus unfortunately not untypical. Depending on the quality of the ignition the optimum lies between λ = 1.1 and 1.3. This is confirmed by Masum et al. and their figure 6. Adding alcohol to a simple carburetted engine has the main effect of making it run leaner and better efficiency goes hand in hand with more NOx in this range while all other emission values become lower.

Leonardi et al. cite two papers by Vigne (2008 & 2007)[1] claiming the age profiles demonstrate slaughtering of very young calves. This seems wrong and according to Duerr (2007)[2] and sources therein the opposite is true. Actually it was this lack of a milk signal in the age profiles that led Sherratt (1997 & 1983) to his assumption of later use and his secondary products revolution. The contradiction was resolved by Bogucki (1984) and McCormick (1992) who noted that, contrary to modern races, cows up to the Middle Ages only gave milk in the presence of their calves, so that their culling age becomes indistinguishable from that for meat production.

For Díaz-Andreu see also their earlier article of 2012 (list of 2012-09-22).

I could access neither of those papers to check. Zurück
For the sources cited in this paragraph see the references in my term paper on milk. Zurück

Zum Anfang      Übersicht Artikel      Home & Impressum

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License Viewable With Any Browser Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!